Bay Ridge

Schumer guest speaker at Xaverian HS graduation

Tells Class of 2015 to ‘Go for it’

June 16, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The graduates are excited about the future. Photo courtesy Xaverian High School

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer was the guest speaker at the graduation ceremony for Xaverian High School, telling the Class of 2015 that they must not take for granted the privilege they have received in being educated at Xaverian, referring to the Catholic school for boys as one of the best in the state.

Schumer also spoke to the new graduates about the need to “go for it” as they navigate their future education, careers and personal lives.

Xaverian, a Catholic high school for boys located in Bay Ridge, held its 55th Commencement Exercises at Brooklyn College’s Walt Whitman Auditorium on June 6.

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In addition to Schumer, the audience heard from Xaverian President Robert Alesi, Deacon Kevin McCormack, the school’s principal, and other speakers.

The Rev. Sean Suckiel, chaplain of Xaverian, delivered the invocation. The Senior Chorus and the Class of 2015 sang the National Anthem. Student Joseph Martorana offered a welcoming address.

Following the conferment of the diplomas to the new graduates, the commencement address was delivered by Joseph Z. Scantlebury, a 1980 Xaverian graduate who is vice president for program strategy at W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The farewell address was delivered by Ritik Taneja, the valedictorian of the Class of 2015.

“At Xaverian, we found no limits. No barriers. No obstacles. Xaverian taught us that the greatest restriction we can place on ourselves is what we expect of ourselves,” he said. “As we grew and matured, we saw these expectations begin to parallel our desires for achievement. The timid and apprehensive boys we once were became outgoing and determined men. Whether it be men that play it out on the field, convey their own messages through music, or work to coach and mentor the under and upperclassmen of today, we all have grown to embody what it means to be a part of Xaverian. And what that means is to be fearless but respectful, to be altruistic and givers of hope in a world that is in need of such light.”

Special awards were given to members of the Class of 2015. The winners were: General Excellence – Ritvik Taneja; Academic Excellence – Albert A. Connolly; Scholar Athlete – Louis M. Springer; Outstanding Academic Achievement – William J. Wasson; President’s Award – Robert J. Helbock III; Principal’s Award – Jesse T. Slevin; XBSS Award – Xavier Jean-Paul; Bro. Hugo Hurst, CFX Senior Involvement Award – Paul V. Schwartz; Outstanding Student Athlete – Ronaldo R. Rodriguez; General Excellence Award for the Music Program – Antonio P. Franciosa; Xaverian Service Award – Daniel G. Petric; Christian Gentleman Award – Peter W. Fields; and Xaverian Spirit Award – Thomas G.Nestor Jr.

The Our Lady of the Narrows Academic Scholars for the Class of 2015 were: Suet Cho, Albert A. Connolly, Alford V. Corriette, Dylan J. Ditta, Peter W. Fields, Stephen F. Gordon, Harrison P. Jamin, Charles A. Marinello, Joseph C. Martorana, Igor Mikitanski, Oliver Sarzynski, Jesse T. Slevin, Louis A. Spina, Louis M. Springer, and Ritvik Taneja.

Following the benediction, which was offered by the Very Rev. Eugene N. Pappas, the celebration ended with the Xaverian Pipe and Drum Corps performing a marching medley. 

Xaverian’s Class of 2015 was awarded scholarships totaling more than $25 million. The new graduates are heading to colleges and universities that include: Brown University, Boston College, Boston University, Cornell University, CUNY-Macaulay Honors College, University College of Dublin, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology, according to school officials.


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