By Liz Sullivan
Amid the morning fog of May 18, for close to 15 minutes, a loud roar erupted from The Valley Foundation Pavilion on the campus of Cristo Rey San José Jesuit High School. And it was a happy sound; a sound of four years of hard work, determination and a little prayer, paying off for 109 seniors and their families. It was the sound of those students announcing where they planned to attend college.
Members of the Class of 2018, the first graduating class in the school’s brief history, processed into the Pavilion wearing Class of 2018 t-shirts amid the cheers of classmates, faculty, family and friends. Then each of students, based on their college selection, appeared on stage and their names were announced.
Every member of the class applied to and was accepted into college. More than three-quarters will attend a four-year school, with the rest moving on to two-year colleges, with acceptance to 30 colleges and universities overall. 98 percent of the class will be first generation college students. They will attend University of California, Berkeley, Cornell, Princeton, Holy Cross University, Marquette, Regis University as well, among others, schools throughout the entire state of California in the University of California and California State University systems.
“I am so very proud of you,” said Father Peter Pabst, S.J, Cristo Rey Chancellor and founding president, as his voice cracked with emotion. “I am proud beyond belief.”
The school’s mission states that “Cristo Rey San José is a Jesuit, Catholic high school that empowers students from underserved communities in San José to be men and women for others who are prepared spiritually, academically, and professionally to complete college and who will become accomplished leaders committed to a lifelong pursuit of learning, faith, and justice.”
“I am awe struck by this class’ strength and determination,” said Principal Joe Albers. “This is an historic day for Cristo Rey and I am very thrilled for all of you.”
Daisy Rodriguez and Juan Rodriguez, Senior Student Government Representatives, shared words of wisdom with the Cristo Rey underclassmen.
“Don’t be afraid to leave home,” said Juan Rodriguez, who will attend San Jose State University. “College is a stepping stone to becoming the men and women who give to others.”
Said Daisy Rodriguez, who will attend Princeton: “remember to make memories in high school.”
President Margaret Higgins, PhD., had one final thought. “To the Class of 2018, you will change the colleges you enter,” she said. “I have no doubt about that.”
To learn more about Cristo Rey San José Jesuit High School, please visit www.cristoreysanjose.org.