BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It wasn’t the senior year the students at the Institute of Notre Dame imagined, but in the end, they were able to come together and collect the diplomas they worked so hard to receive.
The 156th Institute of Notre Dame commencement ceremony was held Sunday morning, after the school announced in May it is closing its doors for good.
“Felt a little tear but I didn’t cry, but also being really happy,” said class president Symone Stephens.
“Being here is an amazing, amazing honor,” said valedictorian Mickella Harris.
The 156th class to graduate from the all-girl private high school is also the last. Christine Szala is the Head of School at IND.
“It’s very much bittersweet, that this is the last class but they are a beautiful group of young women, as you can see, and I’m proud of them,” Szala said.
It’s a class that showed determination, working through the rigors of a senior year while dealing with a worldwide pandemic and news of their school closing.
“The perseverance, the courage, the determination and the grit that they have will suit them well for many years to come,” Szala said.
Every single of these young women were accepted into a college or university, earning a combined $10.2 million dollars in merit-based scholarships. They felt the only way to celebrate was together in person.
“We came into this school together, we thought it was only fitting that we would graduate together,” Harris said.
“For us that was so important, for us to come together at this event and be together one last time,” Stephens said.
And as they say goodbye to each other, and their school, they join a long list of alumni who hold the Institute of Notre Dame closer to their heart.
Each graduate invited two guests allowing for a socially distant celebration.