GODFREY - All 953 ticketed seats were taken by the friends and family members of Marquette Catholic High School's Class of 2016.
Marquette Principal Mike Slaughter said the 86 students walking Friday evening were characterized as "smart" and he said he was proud of their embodiment of Marquette's motto of serviam, or "I shall serve." He described their various projects across the Alton and Godfrey as amazing.
"This is one of the smartest classes we have seen during my tenure here," Slaughter said before the ceremony. "They did a mission week in April where they helped do the Bucket Brigade, mulched some areas of local parks, painted fences, and painted the amphitheater at Riverview Park."
Slaughter delivered the opening address to the ceremony, which was followed by a senior address from Matthew Cook. A senior video was shown before another address by Marquette Senior Class President Katherine Ditman, who also presented "The Tradition Continues" after the presentation of the diplomas and turning of the tassels. The keynote address was given by Marquette Class of 1981 graduate Donald Bohannon.
Several seniors were recognized and awarded at the ceremony. Those included: Illinois State Scholars, Nick Berkenbile, Skylar Cox, Brianna DeClue, Katie Ditman, Katie Gierer, Megan Grove, Allison Hoefert, Adam Johnes, Tommy Morrissey, Shane Nichols, Andria Pace, Brittany Pace, Macie Spencer, Tim Derrington and Rebecca Fazio.
The Senior Serviam Award was given to Andria Pace and Brittany Pace. The Spiritus Trophy was given to Nick Berkenbile and Megan Grove. The Halloran Scholar-Athlete Award was given to Tommy Morrissey and Andria Pace. The St. Louis Post Dispatch Scholar Athlete was given to Shandon Boone. The Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award was given to Julianne Fears, and the Sons of the American Revolution Award was given to Katie Ditman.
Students were also awarded by departments. The art award was presented to Miranda Schroeder, biology went to Brianna DeClue and Brittany Pace, chemistry went to Shane Nichols and Andria Pace, drama lighting and sound went to Maggie Maag, drama hair and makeup went to Kellie Wamser, drama performance went to Madison Scott, English went to Katie Ditman, French went to Macie Spencer, government went to Tony Vitale, mathematics went to Shane Nichols, physics went to Skylar Cox and Tommy Morrissey, radio broadcasting went to Trey Aguirre and Dylan Hamm, Spanish went to Katie Ditman and theology went to Tim Donahue and Rebecca Fazio.
The ceremony concluded with a prayer from Fr. Bill Kessler, the chaplain of the school.