One Hundred and Eighth Commencement Ceremony
The 2018 Baccalaureate Mass took place on Sunday, May 20, at 11:30 a.m., at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Hays. Mass was celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Barry Brinkman, Pastoral Designate and concelebrated by Rev. Earl Befort, OFM Cap. and Rev. Leo Blasi. Deacon Andy Hammeke gave the Homily to the 69 graduates, parents, family and friends. Hammeke being a 2007 Alum of TMP-Marian aided in his connection with the graduates as he spoke to the new challenges and changes currently happening in their lives.
Students left the Baccalaureate Mass and headed to the front stone steps at TMP-Marian to gather for their last picture as a class. Excitement was thick in the air as they awaited the processional to begin in Al Billinger Field House. Master of Ceremonies was Mr. Shawn Denton, English Teacher and Senior Class Sponsor. Fr. Earl Befort ’61 gave the Invocation and Mr. Robert Leikam ’75, Social Science Teacher and Junior High Assistant Principal, delivered the commencement address. Mr. Leikam spoke about the importance of being ones self and always being true to that person inside. In addition, Leikam challenged the graduates to always look to God when trouble arises and know His answer will come in due time.
Mr. Tom Meagher, High School Assistant Principal and Business Director, and Mr. Chad Meitner, Principal, Presented Underclassman Awards. The student winners of the Medal for Scholarship from Grades 7-11 were MaKayla Romme, Maggie Brull, Morgan Staab, Sheena Zeng and Emily Schulte. Underclassmen winners of the Service Award in Grades 9-11 were Annie Wasinger, Tyson Dinkel and Leanne Rack. Last, but certainly not least, the student winners in Grades 7-11 of the school’s highest underclass award, The Christian Leadership Award, were Jensen Brull, Madelyn Seiler, Kyleigh Allen, Lane Werth and Ethan Lang.
Mrs. Ashley Steiner, Communications Manager, and Mr. Meagher delivered Senior Recognition to the audience. A total of 185 offers have been made to 80% of our graduates. The total value, which our graduates are able to accept, comes to $1,855,700. A number only surpassed by one previous class.
The Monarch Service Citation is awarded by vote of the faculty and staff to the Senior who has shown the greatest evidence of service to Thomas More Prep-Marian over the past 4 years. The winner was Allison Campbell.
The Medal of Excellence is the absolute highest student award handed out by the school. It is conferred to the Senior by vote of the entire faculty and staff on the basis of all-around excellence in academics, personal conduct, concern for others and Christian leadership. The medal is awarded to only one student but it is not unusual for several students to show exceptional Christian Leadership. This year the three students nominated were Karl Rack, Anna Speno and Halle Lang. The winner was Anna Speno.
The traditional Passing of the Torch was delivered by Trae Megaffin and Anna Speno. They spoke directly to the student body and encouraged them to try new things and get out of their comfort zones next year. Moreover, they told the Junior Class to enjoy their last year within the TMP-Marian walls because time truly flies!
The TMP Singers under the direction of Mrs. Kathy Dreiling-Amrein sang, “See You Again” by Roger Emerson. Last but certainly not least, the students received their coveted diplomas which represented the culmination of four years of hard work and dedication. Mr. Meitner gave closing remarks and encouraged the pupils to be proud to be Catholic and use their religion as a tool in their everyday lives. A tall order; considering Mr. Meitner nicknamed this the “Class of More” by stating they always required more food to be cooked in the lunchroom, more teaching staff as they traveled through the system, more energy than other classes, they will more than likely supersede his challenge as they travel out into the world to make their individual marks!
Please take a moment to view the Graduation photos from the 108 Commencement Ceremony at https://tmpmarian.smugmug.com/2017-2018/Graduation-2018
Also, the Senior video, prepared by Amy Braun, is available to view until June 15, at https://vimeo.com/271260830