Lacordaire Academy graduated 14 seniors on Saturday, June 4, on the grounds of historic James Hall. In keeping with Academy tradition, a bagpiper led the board of trustees, faculty and graduates to the dais.

Student Government President Kai Lyn Weaver welcomed friends and family in attendance and urged her classmates to “let your lights shine bright.” 

Valedictorian Goretti Muriithi said she had been inspired by Academy alumnae and promised the audience that “like alumnae who came before us and students who will follow, we will be dazzling models of faith and excellence.”

Salutatorian Izabelle Herrera spoke of how the four pillars of Lacordaire – prayer, study, ministry and community – distinguished the education of the graduates. 

“The future of Lacordaire is us,” she said. Quoting St. Catherine of Siena, she encouraged her fellow graduates to “be who God meant you to be.” 

Head of School Megan Mannato referenced both the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement in her remarks to the class, saying, “The heaviness the world forced you to handle was immense. You have survived, persevered and overcome.” 

She then went on to address each of the 14 young women individually.

Lacordaire Academy Class of 2022. (COURTESY LACORDAIRE ACADEMY)
Lacordaire Academy Class of 2022.

Bestselling author and alumna Debbie Rigaud gave the commencement address, sharing memories of her formative years at Lacordaire and the journey of finding her voice. 

Rigaud told the graduates: “Your life’s work is the way you express your voice. We can’t wait to witness your life’s work.”

The Class of 2022 had 100% college acceptance to four-year institutions and received over $3 million in scholarships. The graduates will be attending the following schools:

Ruth Amouh: Fairleigh Dickinson University

Aniya Bennett: Montclair State University

Genesis Billups: Montclair State University

Maria Gagliano: Drew University

Huntar Hayes: Spelman College

Izabelle Herrera: Montclair State University

Constance McLoughlin: County College of Morris

Mollie McLoughlin: County College of Morris

Goretti Muriithi: Cornell University

Jennifer Portorreal: Seton Hall University

Symya Smith: Quinnipiac University

Sarah Sweeney: New Jersey Institute of Technology

Christen Trejo: Berry College

Kai Lyn Weaver: Spelman College

The Class of 2022 is the 102nd class to graduate from the Academy.

Lacordaire Academy is an independent, college preparatory school rooted in the Catholic Dominican tradition and serving a diverse student body, co-ed Pre-K-8 and young women in grades 9-12. 

—This article was provided by Lacordaire Academy officials.