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Fontbonne Academy Graduates Challenged to be Courageous by Braintree Speaker

Seventy-two members of the Fontbonne Academy Class of 2012 participated in the 55th Commencement Ceremony on Thursday evening.

At ’s 55th Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 24, the 72 graduates were prompted to be courageous by a member of the Class of 1962 and challenged by their classmates to make an impact on the world.

Braintree resident Joan Garrity, Ed.D., R.N., carried on the Fontbonne Academy tradition, which began in 2008, of the graduation speaker being part of the 50th Anniversary Class.

Garrity, who graduated from Boston College of Nursing in 1966, went on to earn Masters of Education from Northeastern University and a Doctorate from Boston University. She informed the graduates that none of her achievements, professionally or personally, would have been possible without courage.

“Fontbonne has taught you to be women of courage,” said the 17-year professor of medical/surgical nursing at UMass Boston.

Garrity also served on the committee that established Fontbonne’s Four R’s. The “Four R’s”: respect, responsibility, reconciliation, and reverence, are the values used by the school to socially connect with the community.

“These are not merely words in a frame in the lobby at Fontbonne,” said Garrity.

Garrity explained each value, ending with a question. “Will you have the courage to be responsible while others may not?”

Before Garrity’s speech, Class President Natalie Devine and Honor Speakers Caroline Murray and Kayla Stravin spoke to the graduates, their families and other members of the Fontbonne community.

Murray’s speech centered on belief—both in oneself and in God—and the confidence that belief can build.

“Over the past four years, through the good times and the bad times, the long nights of homework, the stress before exams, the laughs and the tears, Class of 2012, we believed in each other, and helped each other to get to where we are today,” said Murray, who lives in Quincy.

With faith, Murray encouraged her classmates to make a difference.

“My fellow graduates, I challenge you to use your gifts and self-confidence to become successful and change the world,” Murray said.

Stravin, a varsity golfer, drew parallels between the game and life, expanding on the ideas that“practice makes perfect, you will never know unless you try and choose the best tools.”

“As a first time player my freshman year, I learned the importance of practice, patience and persistence,” Stravin said. “I realized that my progress would not happen overnight and that I needed to keep working hard each day.”

Like her fellow Honor Speaker and Quincy resident, Stravin challenged the class.

“Just like golfers go on to become famous in the Pro Golfers Association, I know that we will be seeing members of the Fontbonne Academy Class of 2012 in the future making their marks on the world around us,” Stravin concluded.

Board of Trustees Chair Terry Kahlert Eng, of Milton, and Mary Ellen Barnes, Head of School, handed out the diplomas on Thursday evening.

Three Milton residents, Alyssa Melendez, Josephine Wong and Michaela Greaney, are part of the Fontbonne Academy Class of 2012.

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