Marist School's Class of 2024 Looks to the Future

Principal Kevin Mullally set the tone for the Marist School commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 25, by emphasizing the role of memories in shaping beliefs and providing a solid educational foundation. He highlighted notable memories that the graduating Class of 2024 may cherish from their time at Marist, including 10,348 hours in service to others, 963 books checked out from the library, 192 unique courses taken, and five athletic state championships in their final academic year. He said, “Graduates, let your memories of Marist—of the good work you have done here, of the good work you have done for others while here, all of which we acknowledge and honor and lift up this morning—be a reminder to you of the very best within you. Of all you are capable of and of who you are called by God to be as your formation in the image of his son continues throughout your lives. Let these memories preserve and sustain you in the very good and sometimes difficult times to come. May they be a reminder to you of just how much all of us here care for you and want the very best for you. Just be sure to come back and tell us all about what you do from here.”
As our graduates prepared to turn their tassels, there was no shortage of celebrations that will be remembered for years to come, marking the culmination of their time at Marist School and the beginning of new adventures ahead.
The academic year began with the Senior Sunrise and fittingly concluded with a Sunset Send-Off BBQ on May 15. Seniors gathered on Stadler Field wearing their college-bound t-shirts and enjoying grilling and other fun activities while also preparing sandwiches for The Sandwich Project, a metro-Atlanta nonprofit addressing food scarcity. Hosted by the Marist Alumni Board, the Sunset Send-Off welcomed the Class of 2024 into the Alumni Association.

The Academic Awards and Senior Honors Assembly on May 22 recognized outstanding achievements, including two prestigious honors announced to the community. The second Helen Bawak Wamey ’22 Memorial Award was presented to Elizabeth McCall ’24 for her outstanding kindness, empathy, hospitality, and efforts in promoting diversity and inclusivity within the school community. Additionally, yearbook co-editors Lilly Schaffer ’24 and Emma Simon ’24 revealed the dedication of the 2024 “Guidon” yearbook to physical education teacher and coach Mr. Dan Perez ’84.

Seniors and families gathered in Hughes Spalding Stadium on May 24 for a twilight Baccalaureate Mass. The hour provided a beautiful backdrop for honoring the seniors on the eve of their graduation. Mass featured celebrant and homilist Bishop Joel Konzen, S.M., former Marist principal. He urged the Class of 2024 to seek wisdom by aligning with what is good and true, saying, “To build a life on both what is true and good means that we are singling out certain values and certain truths to live by. And then when you build your future, your direction, on those values, it’s not just something nice to do, it’s the way that you give meaning to your life. By clinging to what is true and constructing your actions around the solid truths and good instincts that you learned and made your own … Let what is true and good shape your actions, your expectations, and your accomplishments.”

Baccalaureate Mass featured readings by seniors Mary Evans Bucko, Camron Abshier, and Gabby Ovadje, with Marist students serving as student altar servers, ushers, and extraordinary ministers of holy Communion. The ceremony concluded with the "Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen)" led by Marist priests, concelebrants, offering a fitting blessing over the seniors as they are called to share their gifts with the world. The recording of the Mass was captured and streamed live by Marist Broadcasting Club (MBC) students.

On Saturday morning, May 25, the Class of 2024 gathered at Hughes Spalding Stadium for their commencement ceremony, a pivotal moment streamed live by MBC students. Senior Class Co-Presidents Gabby Ovadje and Musse Woldu delivered the readings, setting the stage for salutatorian Brennan Ujda and valedictorian Alec Issa to address their peers with reflections on their Marist journey.

During the ceremony, seniors Alexander Lee and Paris Dinh received the prestigious Archbishop’s Awards for their excellence in the study of the Catholic faith and their community service. President J. D. Childs awarded the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Cup to Andrew Albright ’24 in recognition of his significant contributions to school activities and achievements. Principal Mullally presented Wesley Laborde ’24 with the Sedes Sapientiae Award, Marist School's highest student honor, acknowledging his outstanding academic achievement and commitment to Marist values.

Commencement speaker Bill Roche ’76, chair of the Marist School Board of Trustees, addressed the graduates with an echo of Bishop Konzen’s message, emphasizing the importance of maintaining strong moral principles in navigating life’s challenges. “How do you effectively navigate all these changes? I believe that the key is to have a strong moral compass. Your north star. Even as things change around you … you can never lose sight of your foundational principles, your core values, and your fundamental sense of right and wrong. The great news is that as you sit here today, you already have all the tools that you need to do this. As I look back on the nearly 50 years since I graduated, I realized that everything I needed to know, I really learned Marist.”

The Class of 2024 concluded their high school journey on a high note. The festivities, from the Sunset Send-Off BBQ to the Baccalaureate Mass, highlighted service, academic excellence, and community involvement, culminating in a commencement that reinforced the significance of strong values and foundational principles learned at Marist. As the graduates embark on new adventures, they carry with them cherished memories and a solid grounding in the values of truth, goodness, and service.

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers