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Nazareth Academy’s Class of 2022 makes history

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From staff reports

On May 22, Nazareth Academy’s Class of 2022 celebrated their graduation and made school history by being the first class to have their graduation mass and commencement in the Alexine Chapel on campus.

Commencement was the capstone event of a week of senior-themed celebrations including Circle the City, Closing School Mass, Awards Ceremony and Graduation Mass.

The 162 graduates will be attending 73 different colleges and universities in 25 states. They have earned over $31 million in merit-based scholarships. This graduating class has 29 Illinois State Scholars. Their distinctions include one National Merit Finalist; two National Merit Commended Scholars, three National Hispanic Scholars; one Quest Bridge National College Match Scholar, two Chick Evans Scholars and one appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.

In her graduation address, Caroline Workman, valedictorian, encouraged her classmates to find gratitude in the grit and resilience they’ve shown throughout their high school journey. “As we leave Naz today for the last time as a class, let’s take our values of hard work and care for our dear neighbor and continue to practice them in our journey through life. Let’s keep being resilient and keep persevering through all of our challenges. Let’s build a world where everyone is loved for who they are.”

Students from the Class of 2022 were accepted to colleges and universities all over the world, including Boston College, Clemson University, the University of Chicago, Wake Forest University, the University of Wisconsin, Syracuse University, the University of Pennsylvania, the Naval Academy, and the University of Michigan.

Workman is a National Merit Finalist and an Illinois State Scholar. At Nazareth’s Awards Ceremony she was honored with the 2022 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award as well as being named an ESCC Scholar-Athlete. In addition to her membership in multiple academic honor societies, she was a 3-year member of Student Council, is the goalie for the Girls Soccer team this year and was Captain of the Girls Basketball team, which finished as State Runners-up this year.

“Without Nazareth’s commitment to educating the whole person, I would not be on the path that I am today. The academic foundation and the extracurricular opportunities provided by Nazareth have set me up for success in my future academic and basketball careers at the University of Chicago,” Workman said.

Nazareth Academy’s Class of 2022 Salutatorian is Lillian Murphy (La Grange), who will attend the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Murphy is an Illinois State Scholar and a recipient of the 2022 Anatomy and Physiology Achievement Award. She was named a Nazareth and ESCC Scholar-Athlete. In addition to academic honor societies, she is co-captain of the LaCrosse team and a Youth Initiative Freshman Orientation leader.

“Nazareth’s tight-knit community has allowed me to form meaningful relationships with faculty and classmates. These connections, in addition to Nazareth’s opportunities in extracurricular activities, have pushed me to grow both in academics and as an individual,”  said Murphy.

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