Final graduating class for Northeast Catholic

June 10, 2010 9:30:43 PM PDT
Northeast Catholic High School for Boys held its last graduation ceremony Thursday.

For the 155 young men receiving their diplomas, it was an opportunity to cherish the past and celebrate the future.

With Auxilliary Bishop Robert Maginnis presiding, school president Father Vincent Smith welcomed the graduates, their families, and faculty.

Salutatorian Robert Franco reminded those gathered that as Catholic men, they must now work to make their legacy more than just the last graduating class.

"I don't think this is the end of North Catholic because we have so many alumni across the globe and teachers that are going to other schools in the archdiocese," Franco said.

Father Smith asked that the diplomas be given out in private without the presence of TV cameras.

And afterward, Valedictorian Mike McCall said that with this concluding ceremony, the tradition of their legendary school may dim, but its spirit will forever, shine brightly.

He dedicated his address to the generations of graduates before him.

"Both of my grandfathers went here, two of my uncles, I think four of my cousins and my father," McCall said.

"Both the speakers tonight, the salutatorian and the valedictorian, their speeches were very moving and very emotional for me," Reverend Nicholas Waselin said.

Tieng Pham received the school's most prestigious award, the Provincial Medal of Honor for academic achievement, service and loyalty.

"I'll be going to Temple this fall to major in biology and, in the future, hopefully, I'll be able to become a cardiologist," Pham said.

So North Catholic's 2010 graduation has ended, culminating its 84 year history, but as Salutatorian Robert Franco so eloquently stated, their resolve does not die, rather it strengthens into a new spirit that lives on.