Regina Dominican High School’s 52nd Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Ceremony took place on Saturday May 26, 2012 in the O’Shaughnessy Theater on the school’s campus. The 69 graduating seniors and their families gathered to witness the conferring of diplomas and celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2012. The Reverend Britto Berchmans of Saint Paul of the Cross Catholic Parish in Park Ridge was the celebrant of the Baccalaureate Mass.
President Sister Mary Margaret Pachucki, OP opened the Commencement Ceremony by addressing the graduates and their parents. She told the Class of 2012, "Each of you is a beautiful thread woven carefully into the tapestry of the Regina Dominican School Community. Your spirit will always remain with us. Always remember wherever you go and whatever you do, you are Regina Dominican."
Following these remarks, S. Mary Margaret presented Grainné D. McKeown, Class of 1994, with the Alumna Medal. While a student at Regina Dominican and Boston College, McKeown came to understand and embrace the reality that service to others would become an integral part of her life. This awareness led her to spend a year on an Indian Reservation in Montana teaching first grade as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. She then decided to travel the world and her three year journey began in Thailand, continued through South India and ended in Kathmandu, Nepal. While living in these countries she came to understand the importance of meditation in a person’s life and the healing techniques of Oriental Medicine.
Upon returning to the United States, McKeown completed a Master’s of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine. Subsequently, she traveled back to Asia to volunteer in free clinics in Bali and Nepal, finally founding a non-profit organization of her own called Mindful Medicine Worldwide whose intention is to improve health care around the world by setting up free integrative health clinics in developing countries.
McKeown was chosen to receive the Alumna Medal because she embodies the core values and beliefs of Regina Dominican High School and the Adrian Dominican Sisters, which flow from the Dominican pillars of prayer, study, community and service. As a Regina alumna, she has valued the pursuit of truth through study. She has given witness to the value of community by living out her belief that she is called to be a global woman in a world community. She has shared her numerous gifts and talents both locally and internationally to make a difference in the lives of others. In prayer and meditation, she has been loved, guided and sustained by our loving God.
Grainné McKeown then delivered the Commencement Address and advised the Class of 2012, "Do not be afraid to step outside your comfort zone to find what makes you happy… Happiness can only come from within."
Regina Dominican’s Graduation Address was given by Shannon Kraemer of Wilmette who will attend the University of Notre Dame in the fall. Kraemer encouraged the graduates to never forget their classmates or the Regina Dominican community and reminded them that, "action by action, word by word, we turned Regina Dominican into a home."
A Convocation ceremony took place on May 25, where students were awarded with honors and recognition for their achievements at Regina Dominican High School. Nine students were recognized as Illinois State Scholars and fifteen were recognized as Presidential Scholars. Serena Gobbi of Evanston was recognized as being named a National Merit Finalist. Leona Maliakal of Morton Grove was named a Commended Scholar.
Award recipients from the ceremony included:
Emily Rojas of Evanston (Kay and George Penman Sullivan Award for Catholic Action); Siobhan McDermott of Arlington Heights (The Maureen Brannen Scholarship Award); Shannon Kraemer of Wilmette (Saint Catherine of Siena Leadership Award); Meghan Tomaszewski of Chicago (Roseanne Harrington Award); Ena Agnihotri of Lincolnwood (Regina Dominican Service Award); Heather Bucher of Chicago (Senior Spirit Award); Kaitlyn Herberg of Chicago (Outstanding Senior Athlete); Leona Maliakal of Morton Grove (Speech and Debate Outstanding Achievement Award); Serena Gobbi of Evanston (Principal’s Award).
The following seniors were recognized as Regina Medalists:
Elizabeth Warens of Chicago (Art), Leona Maliakal of Morton Grove (Biology), Emma Fondell of Wilmette (Choral), Amelia Ryczek of Chicago (Drama), Jennifer Roxas of Skokie (English), Serena Gobbi of Evanston (French, Mathematics, Orchestra and Social Studies), Siobhan McDermott of Arlington Heights (Physics), Zoya Khan of Skokie (Spanish) and Emily Rojas of Evanston (Theology).