BAY ST. LOUIS -- At St. Stanislaus College's 162nd baccalaureate Mass and commencement exercises Saturday, 58 young men were presented with diplomas and alumni pins.
Bishop Roger P. Morin of the Biloxi Diocese addressed the class at Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church, telling them it felt as though he was celebrating graduation along with them as he would be "graduating in the 2016 class of retiring bishops."
Mitchell Walk graduated valedictorian with a 4.61 GPA. In his address he reflected on his career at St. Stanislaus, which comprises seventh through 12th grades). A three-sport athlete, several times he spoke of special memories he'd carry with him of "walking off the football field" on Friday nights, and regardless of whether the Rockachaws won or lost. He also praised his teachers for their dedication. "I think I can speak on everyone's behalf that with absolute certainty, we would not have become the men we are today without our teachers and instructors."
Walk, who scored a perfect 36 on the ACT test, received the President's Award. His scholarship offerings included Auburn University, Clemson University, Mississippi College, Pearl River Community College and the University of Texas. His plans are to accept the engineering honors scholarship at the University of Texas.
The three salutatorians finished with 4.60 GPAs. Each reflected on the symbols of the school's escutcheon in their addresses.
Michael Sandoz focused on instruction, noting how so many of his teachers provided personal attention to complement the learning process.
Tommy Reeder focused on formation, saying "formation of our character perhaps has been the biggest goal of the faculty and staff."
Matthew Saucier focused on witness, complimenting SSC's faculty and his peers for their positive examples.
The 2016 graduates combined for $6.6 million in scholarship offerings.
"The 2016 St. Stanislaus graduates are a very talented and giving group of young men who have achieved both academically and athletically," Assistant Principal Susan Estrade said. "They possess true qualities of gentlemen of character."