On Saturday, June 6, Cornelia Connelly School held its 56th, and final, commencement ceremony. After nearly 60 years of educating young women, the Class of 2020 had the honor of being the final class to walk across Sullivan-Henry Athletic Field to receive their awards and diplomas. The beloved school closed its doors permanently after seeing the final graduates receive their diplomas on a perfect Saturday afternoon in June.
While most high schools across the Unites States, if not around the world, were unable to celebrate the milestone of a high school graduation due to the worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19, Cornelia Connelly School was able to give her students a graduation, and much more, due to its small size and ability to host events while still practicing social distancing. After spending months apart from their classmates when the transition to distance learning commenced on March 18, Connelly students were overjoyed to receive the news that they were being given the gift of a Senior Prayer Breakfast, Baccalaureate Mass with the Most Reverend Thanh Thai Nguyen presiding, and most importantly, the beautiful Holy Child Graduation Ceremony they had been looking forward to since day one at Connelly.
In keeping with the nationwide Holy Child Network of Schools’ tradition, Connelly graduates wore beautiful floor-length white gowns, white gloves, and each carried a bouquet of elegant roses during the outdoor ceremony that took place on Connelly’s Sullivan-Henry Field. For a second year in a row, Connelly graduates were honored to have The Most Reverend Kevin W. Vann, JCD, DD, Bishop of Orange, award the students their diplomas. Connelly and Bishop Vann have enjoyed a special relationship over the years with Bishop Vann attending many of Connelly’s events throughout the school year. A special dinner was held afterwards on campus for the graduates and their families who wished to stay. The atmosphere was upbeat and celebratory as laughter once again filled the campus that had been devoid of students since March.