Immaculate Heart Grads Celebrate Together Onstage at the Hollywood Bowl

Graduates of Immaculate Heart’s Class of 2022 sing together onstage – the first time in three years the high school’s seniors were able to perform as a group from the iconic Hollywood Bowl stage. (Photo Credit: Nick Boswell)

The 94 graduates in Immaculate Heart’s Class of 2022 shared smiles, songs and sighs as they gathered at the Hollywood Bowl for the high school’s 116th commencement. The ceremony, held May 31, marked a milestone for the graduating seniors as they received their diplomas and relished their achievements before cheering families, friends and faculty.

Senior Class Speaker Abigail Chang praises her classmates for their perseverance during the pandemic and their dedication to building a better future. (Photo Credit: Nick Boswell)

The evening event also served as a welcomed return to a “normal” graduation for Immaculate Heart High School. For the first time in three years, the school’s seniors were able to stand together and sing as a group from the iconic Bowl stage.

Author and retired teacher Christine Knudsen, who served 31 years as Immaculate Heart High School’s theology department chair, delivers the commencement address. (Photo Credit: Annie Taylor)

Seizing the significance of the moment, the Class of 2022 graduates opened the ceremony by singing “Time After Time” as a testimonial to the bonds they formed during their time at Immaculate Heart. They later performed the song “Dreams” and ended the commencement with the traditional singing of Immaculate Heart’s alma mater – joined by many Immaculate Heart alumnae standing and singing from the audience.

Class speaker Abigail Chang praised the perseverance of her classmates, who spent a year-and-a-half of their high school experience attending online classes in isolation at home.

Immaculate Heart High School Principal Naemah Morris presents a diploma to senior Karla Belmonte. (Photo credit: Annie Taylor)

“If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s that separation is no hindrance to unity,” Chang said. “No matter the path we choose to take, we will remain united by the ardor of our great hearts and right consciences. We began as strangers but are leaving as family. Our hearts have, and will, continue to beat with power, beat with confidence, and beat in synchrony, pumping us towards the same, brighter tomorrow.”

Immaculate Heart High School’s 116th commencement took place May 31 at the Hollywood Bowl. Virtually 100 percent of the Class of 2022 graduates will matriculate to colleges and universities across the country and abroad, including the most prestigious U.S. schools – notably Harvard University and Cornell University, liberal arts colleges like Kenyon College and Macalester College, Jesuit institutions like Fordham University, and University of California campuses, such as UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Similarly, commencement speaker Christine Knudsen – Immaculate Heart’s former theology teacher and department chair for 31 years – praised the graduates for their steadfast commitment to each other and to social justice. She also encouraged them to find beauty in the world despite hardships.

“Become wise from your own painful experiences, stay in touch with your inner light, the divine presence, that is always within you,” Knudsen said. “Resolve to think outside the box of conventional ideas and the status quo to new, more compassionate ways of being and acting in the world.”

Joining Knudsen on stage were Immaculate Heart’s current theology chair, Maria Pollia, who offered the commencement’s invocation, IHHS Principal Naemah Morris, who conferred the diplomas, and Immaculate Heart President Maureen Diekmann, who expressed her gratitude to the graduating class and attendees.

Immaculate Heart is located at 5515 Franklin Avenue in the Los Feliz Hills of Los Angeles near Griffith Park. The Catholic, independent, college preparatory school educates and empowers young women in grades 6-12. For information, visit



Pasadena Now has been published daily since April, 2004 and is among the very oldest continously operated community news websites in the U.S.

Pasadena Now strives to publish a full spectrum of news and information articles in service to the entire community. The publication will remain free to readers and will not erect paywalls.

Pasadena Now strives to provide factual, unbiased reporting. Our opinion section is open to all.