The Class of 2021 Embarks on Next Steps Toward Success

Each year, Saint Mary’s Hall sends a new class of graduates off on a journey toward success in college and fulfillment in life after carefully preparing them. While it’s always hard to say goodbye, we’re excited to see our graduates go out into the world to pursue their destiny of success and accomplishment.

On May 21, a total of 92 graduates from the Class of 2021 officially graduated from Saint Mary's Hall. Our seniors and their families gathered on campus at the Alonso Ancira Event Center for the school's 140th Commencement Ceremony.

Watch the Commencement Ceremony on our Vimeo channel.

In his introductory remarks, Head of School Len Miller said, “You, the Class of 2021, have inspired us. You challenged us to bring our best - to put all of this in perspective. And while I agree that challenges make us stronger, it’s really a credit to the Class of 2021 for approaching this year with such a mindset.”

The students, who hail from 28 zip codes (three of whom drove over an hour back and forth to campus each day), have proven to be one of the most resilient by overcoming the pandemic.  This class has earned a total of $11, 017,558 million in merit scholarships. In addition, 62% of the class received at least one merit-based scholarship.  Other notable accomplishments included:

  • They will attend 54 different colleges and universities in 19 different states and D.C. They also stretched internationally, and three seniors will attend college outside of the United States (Ireland, Canada, and the Czech Republic).
  • California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Texas will see the biggest groups of our 2021 graduates when school starts in the fall.
  • Among this group there are: 27 Lifers, nine students who entered in Lower School, 21 who entered in Middle School, and 35 who entered in the Upper School. Of those 35, four joined the class for this senior year.
  • 64% of the class earned placement in their self-identified #1 choice college.
  • 13 of our student-athletes are going on to play sports at the collegiate level. The sports include: baseball, basketball, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and track & field.
  • 13 seniors were named National Merit Recipients: one was awarded a National Merit Scholarship, three were named National Merit Finalists, three were named National Hispanic Scholars, and six were named National Commended Scholars.
  • Our seniors completed a collective total of 16,589 community service hours.
  • One senior was named a U.S. Presidential Scholar Semi-Finalist.
Commencement Speech

Student Body President Jennings Stuart and Senior Class President Fletcher Spear both spoke during the ceremony and shared how SMH has profoundly impacted their lives.

Stuart said, “I can connect almost everything in my daily life to something I learned from SMH and the people in it, each of whom has been a stitch in the quilt of my life.”

“I would like to thank everyone who is/was a part of the Saint Mary’s Hall community. Teachers, staff, parents, and students for granting us this incredible tool … the gift of education that we can take with us for the rest of our lives,” Spear shared. 

Awards were also presented to members of the Class of 2021. The following seniors were honored with Academic Awards: 

  • English - Jennings Stuart  
  • Fine Arts - Evelyn Cox 
  • Performing Arts - Mehwish Rehman 
  • Media Arts - Izzy Castillo 
  • World Languages - Sophie Jaafar 
  • History & Social Sciences - Olivia Zachry 
  • Mathematics - Sarah Hernandez 
  • Science - Sarah Hernandez 
Award

The Athletes of the Year Awards are presented to outstanding male and female senior varsity athletes. Rodney Hunter received Male Athlete of the Year and Lindsay Martin received Female Athlete of the Year. Sophie Jaafar was honored with the Bishops' Christian Citizenship Cup, an award bestowed upon the graduate who the faculty feels has best exemplified a Christian attitude and influence in all aspects of life at Saint Mary's Hall. School Nurse Melissa Baumholtz received the Jamie Armstrong Bennett Award, presented to the faculty or staff member who has made a significant contribution to the life of the school and who exemplifies the qualities valued by its founders. A total of 27 seniors received a longevity recognition; this recognition is presented each year to students who have attended Saint Mary's Hall for 12 or more years. 

As the school year comes to a close and our graduates go out into the world beyond our halls, we are grateful and honored for the legacy they made while students at SMH. The Class of 2021 have left an indelible mark on the history of Saint Mary’s Hall and will forever have a home at our school as alumni.