BLOOMSBURG — For the 20th straight year, an honorable pack of Tigers invaded the lair of the Huskies and took the campus of Bloomsburg University by storm as they participated in their school’s 57th graduation Tuesday evening. During the ceremony, which was held inside the Haas Center, 105 Southern Columbia Area seniors received their high school diplomas.
Black and gold were the colors of the day as SCA students and faculty participated in the ceremony on a picture-perfect spring day. Tiger pride permeated throughout the crowd as proud parents and smiles abounded, while the graduates shared memories and said their good-byes to one another.
Class president Jadyn Brezinski opened the proceedings by expressing her appreciation for the blessings of her high school years at SCA and offered words of wisdom to her fellow graduates.
“I feel blessed to have attended a small school where I know each one of my classmates, a little about their families and their interests,” said Brezinski. “I feel blessed to live in a community that supports its youth. They fill our bleachers at a Friday night football game and our auditorium for sellout crowds for our musicals. We leave here tonight as ambassadors of Southern Columbia School District and our community.”
‘A Million Dreams’
Senior members of the SCA chorus then followed with an stirring rendition of the song “A Million Dreams,” written by Pasek and Paul and arranged by Roger Emerson. Following their performance, the crowd applauded loudly.
Next, students graduating with honors came up on stage together and received special recognition individually as they stepped forward when their names were called.
Valedictorian Morgan Cole followed with a speech that challenged her fellow graduates to remember their “why.”
“There will be times when we feel inferior, stuck, or even lost in the enormity of our futures. When this happens, it’s important to remember what inspired us to start. What set us on this journey? What motivates us to continue?” Cole said. “When we can answer the question, ‘why’, then answering the questions, “what” and “how” becomes that much easier. If we hold our inspiration close to heart, we will discover that we cannot fail.”
Cole concluded by sharing what she believes are the most important attributes that the graduates possess.
“I know that as we embark on our respective paths in life, whatever they may be, that we will do it with courage, grace and love. Thus, the class of 2019 will always be united not by what we’ve done, but by who we are.”
Acceptance of diplomas
As each of the graduates names were announced, they walked across the stage one by one as their name and picture were displayed on screen, along with their career choice. Family and friends cheered throughout the procession.
A special video presentation followed the presentation of diplomas to the graduates. The video, set to music, was comprised of a number of class photos which stirred memories and brought out emotions from the students, faculty and audience.
The video was produced by Christopher Gengler and the TV Production Class.
SCA Superintendent Paul Caputo offered his comments, toward the graduating class, which filled with hope and appreciation.
“My hope for you is that you’ll keep on learning, growing and challenging yourselves,” said Caputo. “You’ve left a positive mark on Southern Columbia. Congratulations to each and every one of you on a job well done.”
With that, Caputo instructed the graduates to move their tassels, signifying their final step in the graduation process.
Salutatorian Brooklyn Kuijpers focused on the common attributes that make the Class of 2019 one.
“I would like to think that as much as we were different, we were also similar in the ways that mattered,” Kuijpers said. “When I think of the attributes that our class has in common, I think of our independence, our ability to be confident in our talents and in our abilities. I think of our individuality, our ability to be anything that we set our minds to, our camaraderie, the way that if one of us succeeded we all supported them, our honesty and self-reflection, the way we always knew when we needed help or when we had the ability to help and, last but certainly not least, our kindness and our ability to raise each other up.”