Brother Martin’s 49th graduating class received their diplomas on Friday, May 25, 2018, at the UNO Lakefront Arena during the 2018 Commencement Exercises. Principal Ryan Gallagher ‘00 and Student Council President Colby Coulon ‘18 opened the ceremony with a warm welcome to guests and thanked the Class of 2018 for having a part in the history of the school. Senior Class President William Ott ‘18 carried the Ceremonial Shield that represents both the cross of Christ’s crucifixion and the sword point of the Crusader who fights for justice as he led the seniors in the processional.
Following the processional, the graduates joined their parents on the floor for this Brother Martin tradition. Dean of Students, Mr. Michael Lynn ‘04 welcomed all of our guests to the 149th commencement exercises conducted under the auspices of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans. Mr. Lynn also introduced himself as the emcee for the evening. President John Devlin led the opening prayer and invocation as members of the Brother Martin Chorus sang the National Anthem. Following the National Anthem, Mr. Lynn presented the Salutatorian of the Class of 2018, Benjamin Andres Chanes. Benjamin Chanes ‘18 received the Salutatory award for being ranked 2nd in the graduating class as an honors graduate. During the Salutatorian address, Chanes reflected “In my relationships with my selfless teachers, I experienced the deep love and charism of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart every day… Go out unto the world and show the life that Brother Martin has taught you.”
Following the Salutatorian address, Mr. Lynn recognized three students who have achieved perfect attendance during their Brother Martin career: Benjamin Chanes, Julian Delgadillo, and Cody Knight. Assistant Principal for Academics, Mrs. Deborah Broussard called upon graduates to approach the stage for the presentation of awards in a specific course of studies. Several award recipients were announced for their dedication to their studies and their time at Brother Martin. The academic award recipients included Jackson Vicknair ‘18 (Daughters of the American Revolution of ‘76 Chapter – American History Award), Andrew Butler ‘18 (Anthony J. Dominici ‘88 Memorial Art Award and Benjamin Kuylen ‘98 Memorial Choral Music Award), Peter Davis ‘18 (Computer Science Award), Dillon Delaune ‘18 (English Award), Matthew Moreland ‘18 (Emile ‘Chubby’ Marks ‘54 SA Health & P.E. Award), Brett Hildreth ‘18 (A.F. Laborde Journalism Award), Matthew Tate ‘18 (Library and Information Science Award), Joseph Aguda ‘18 (Mathematics Award and Science Award), Stephen Gonzales ‘18 (George J. Mordica, Sr. & George J. Mordica, Jr. ‘67 SA Memorial Music Leadership Award), Ryan Johnson ‘18 (Patrick C. Manale ‘82 NJROTC Award), Connor Bertaut ‘18 (Herman J. Prager, Sr. Memorial Religion Award), Thinh Xuan Nguyen ‘18 (Catherine D. Mordica Memorial Medicine Award), Benjamin Chanes ‘18 (Dr. Louis Caboche Memorial Medicine Award), and Kyle Kaough ‘18 (World Language Award).
After all of the academic awards were presented, Mrs. Broussard honored and announced the Class of 2018 Valedictorian, Joseph James Aguda, III. Joseph Aguda ‘18 received the Valedictory Award for being ranked 1st in the graduating class and presented his valedictory address. In the midst of Aguda’s Valedictorian address, he profoundly stated “The truth is, the man that I am today was always within me, and it was Brother Martin’s mission to pull that individuality out of me over the past six years. Further, it is the task of the charism of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart to continue developing us into better people for the rest of our lives… grateful for all that our alma mater has provided for us, and more than prepared for whatever comes our way. Make it more than a ‘good day’; make it a good life.”
Mr. Lynn introduced graduates as they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas from Mr. Gallagher. This event marked the beginning of their journey as members of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Alumni Association. Mr. Lynn also noted at the ceremony that 64 members of the Class of 2018 were legacies of St. Aloysius, Cor Jesu, and Brother Martin.
Tyler Epps ‘18 was named this year’s James B. Branton Award as an unheralded influence for the good on the Brother Martin community, and Joseph Aguda ‘18 was named this year’s Richard E. Lambert Award winner as the outstanding graduate of the Class of 2018. Other award recipients included Francisco Garcia ‘18 (Youth Citizenship), Alexander Genois ‘18 (Christian Leadership), Matthew Tate ‘18 (Award in Memory of Bro. Leo Godin, S.C), and Colby Coulon ‘18 (American Legion Award).
In the Conclusion of the Ceremony, senior Student Council members including Michael Barkemeyer, John Buchert, Bennett Burmaster, Colby Coulon, Kyle Desplas, William Ott, Damon Smith, Jason Stant, and Jackson Vicknair led the Class of 2018 in singing the Crusader Fight Song one last time as a class.
Concluding the ceremony, Principal Gallagher said, “May you always draw joy and comfort from your belief in God’s love and your efforts to live it and spread it. And may you always know that you have a home at Brother Martin.”
Ametur Cor Jesu… Loved be the heart of Jesus.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018 Crusaders!
O Sacred Heart, We Plight to Thee
O Sacred Heart, we plight to Thee,
Our honor, health, and liberty.
O Sacred Heart, we vow to Thee,
Our life and faith, our worship free.
O Sacred Heart, O Sacred Heart,
We pledge to Thee
Our all in loving loyalty.
Composed in 1947 by Joseph A. Taverna
Arranged in 1993 by Dominick Caronna, Jr. ‘85