Bishop Seabury Academy senior Shannon O’Shea wasn’t graduating with classmates as much as with brothers and sisters Friday morning.
“I think I am probably going to cry when I get in there,” she said minutes before commencement. “These people, I have been with some of them for six years. So it is real emotional.”
The school’s graduation of 13 seniors had a family feel to it. All of the school’s students went through a line hugging and shaking hands with the class ahead of them in what is known as the stepping-up ceremony.
For O’Shea and classmate Peter Esau, it was the class trips to Florida, Washington, D.C., Omaha and St. Louis that provided true bonding moments.
“You get to know each other so well when you are with each other for 48 hours without any time apart,” Esau said.
Jasmine Tse, who has plans of heading to Canada to attend the University of Western Ontario, was trying to hold back tears.
“It’s really exciting, but I will miss my friends and I hope I won’t cry later,” Tse said.
Valedictorian Jun Kim told his classmates that they had all been mirrors to one another, learning from the people around them.
“Thank you very much for being my mirror,” Kim said to the crowd. “You where here right beside me when I needed to look at myself in figuring out where I step. My journey in Lawrence, Kansas, finishes here. But I am leaving my reflection here and taking yours with me.”
During the graduation ceremony, Academic Dean Matt Patterson compared each of the graduating seniors to a bird. Among them were an owl, duck, robin, crow, homing pigeon and Macaw.
Patterson reminded the graduates that while they were each their own bird, they were also all Seahawks, the school’s mascot.
“Determined, intent, focused, on their way from one place to the next. And although they are in the big scheme of things just passing through, they know that this place — this little spot on the map — is an important part of their journey, an important part of where they are going,” Patterson said of both the Seahawk and Class of 2010.