National Merit Scholar Award
AP Scholar with Distinction
Scholastic All-Catholic Awards
National Honor Society
Spanish National Honor Society
Catholic Charities of Southeastern Michigan
Marian/Rice Players, Stage Crew Manager
BEAM&R, CEO/ President
DECA, State of Michigan Award
Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Brother Rice Board of Directors, Mr. Reidy, Mr. Okuniewski, Faculty and Staff, Family, Friends, and my fellow graduates of the class of 2018…
1,365 days of wondering if we would make it to this day, 193 early, grumpy Monday mornings, and way too many of Kase’s quote quizzes. Brother Rice Class of 2018, welcome to your graduation day.
Ten years ago, I didn’t speak a word of English. I moved to this beautiful country from Germany not knowing what to expect. Today, I am honored to be here giving you this speech. Yet, I wouldn’t be here without my teachers, who have inspired a passion not just in me, but in each and everyone of you. Mr. Barnes, for simplifying nuclear physics into something I can understand, Mr. Filo for teaching us the workings and intricacies of ancient civilizations, Mr. Ciaravino for reminding me of my love for politics, and Mr. Hoch for showing me the inside of a frog. Our teachers have shaped us in ways we won’t realize until we’re long gone. To the faculty and staff, you have my deepest gratitude and appreciation.
Graduation is a tricky time in our lives. We look longingly to the next four years wherever they may take us. Yet, we’re stuck in a preemptive homesickness, knowing how much we will miss the friendships we have fostered, the fun Friday nights, and even the daily monotony of trudging from A to B wing. It’s almost as if we wanted to hit “pause” and just take a second to kick back and take in these last fleeting moments with our brothers. Four years ago, I couldn’t even imagine finally being here on this day, but we, as a class, have come so far. We’ve seen our school change over the time we have been there, yet we, as a class, have carried the spirit of brotherhood with us to share with the underclassman. I can’t remember a single day in my entire time at Rice that I went through the day without laughing.
Now that we’ve left it all on the field, on the stage, and in the classroom, we get to look back and reflect on what we have accomplished in four years that flew by way too fast. The spirit found in Brother Rice is truly unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I think we all noticed it when we shadowed as 8th graders – we weren’t part of it yet, but we knew. There’s a reason you can meet any alum and strike up a conversation like you’ve been friends for a while. This spirit, this brotherhood extends far beyond the walls of our little school.
To Mom and Dad, I can’t truly put into words how grateful I am. Your support and your unrelenting love helped me get here. I wouldn’t be in this position without you. I love you.
This is the end of an era. An era in which we grew from boys to men, an era in which we figured ourselves out as people, an era in which we dealt with new challenges, and an era in which we learned to overcome and grow from these challenges. Often times, we forgot that we were surrounded with 152 brothers ready to help us at a moment’s notice. At Kairos, we learned that we are not alone. We are one. Now, together as a class for the last time, we take a leap into the unknown. May we keep the spirit of Brother Rice in our hearts as we venture out into the world and never forget where we came from.
Thank you for the good times and LIVE JESUS IN OUR HEARTS…FOREVER!