Celebrating the Class of 2020 from a distance


Sydney Gallop '20

Sacred Heart Greenwich continues to celebrate its senior class from a distance.

Without the ability to be on campus for the celebratory period of May, a month in which Sacred Heart Greenwich commemorates the work and dedication of its senior class, the administration has implemented virtual celebrations to recognize the Class of 2020.  There are also new celebrations in place to acknowledge the end of the 2019-2020 school year, including a virtual Prize Day celebration.  In addition, many seniors have used creative outlets, such as filmmaking, to celebrate the Class of 2020’s last month at Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart Greenwich inducted 16 seniors into the Cum Laude Society April 20. Courtesy of shgreenwich.org

April 20, Mrs. Pamela Juan Hayes ’64, Head of School, inducted 16 seniors into the Cum Laude Society during a virtual event streamed from the Sacred Heart chapel.  The 2020 inductees include seniors Malika Amoruso, Caroline Badagliacca, Zada Brown, Cameron Calcano, Emma Caruso, Alexa Choy, Gabriella DiBiase, Valentina Grether, Victoria Hannett, Elisa Howard, Sydney Kim, Grace McDevitt, Nicole Mellert, Grace Nemec, Jacqueline Prata, and Julia Welsh.

When classes end May 26, the Sacred Heart alumnae office will hold a virtual Alumnae Induction and Passport Ceremony.  This event formally recognizes a Sacred Heart senior’s transition from a current student to an alumna by inducting her to the Greenwich-Maplehurst Alumnae Association.  Before the event, each senior will receive a package from Sacred Heart to open during this virtual ceremony.

After the Alumnae Induction and Passport Ceremony, Sacred Heart will invite seniors and their families to campus for a drive-through parade in which seniors will receive their yearbooks.  To celebrate Sacred Heart’s senior tradition of decorating white uniform polos with their respective college logos, seniors will wear these polos at the drive-through.

Sacred Heart senior lifers will join together virtually for the Mater Society Ceremony May 27.  The 20 students will celebrate with their families, Mrs. Hayes, Mrs. Kathleen O’Connor, Board Chair, advisors, and guests. 

Sacred Heart administrators also drove through the Fairchester area to leave signs in seniors’ yards to congratulate their completion of senior year.  

Sacred Heart Greenwich administrators personally delivered congratulatory signs to seniors’s homes. Courtesy of Sacred Heart Greenwich

In addition to these school-run celebrations, many seniors have also created new ways to celebrate their final month as Sacred Heart students. Senior Georgia Ferguson chose to make a video featuring the senior class as a way to represent the Class of 2020 and what they love about Sacred Heart.  

In the video, Georgia requested that each senior hold one sign with a word or trait that they believe represents a Sacred Heart graduate, and one sign with what they will miss about Sacred Heart.  Georgia hopes that her video will bring joy to the Sacred Heart community. 

“The Class of 2020 will always hold a special place in my heart and the community of students and faculty at Sacred Heart,” Georgia said.  “The immense amount of talent and achievements we have as a class are like no other and I can’t wait to see what we will do to make the world a better place in the future.” 

The Upper School community will also gather during a virtual webcast ceremony June 4 to celebrate Prize Day.  This event will include awards, video performances from the Madrigals, and student speeches.

Although seniors will not participate in a traditional graduation ceremony this June, Sacred Heart has created new social distancing commemorations.  During a graduation parade June 5, seniors can exit their cars and pick up their Sacred Heart diplomas. They will also have a solo photo opportunity.   Sacred Heart has also marked July 24 as a possible date for a traditional graduation ceremony. 

Mrs. Bensen also initiated a virtual recognition of the senior class using Padlet, an application that creates an online bulletin board on which people can post messages and photos, according to padlet.com.  With this platform, members of the Sacred Heart community dedicated posts to the Class of 2020. 

Mrs. Bensen believes it is important to maintain as many traditions as possible during this unprecedented time.

“Creating virtual celebrations for the Class of 2020 has been a way to honor the Sacred Heart traditions and give the spotlight to this incredible group of young women,” Mrs. Bensen said.  “In this current remote education model, it is even more important to keep the community connected and by harnessing the creative minds of so many, we have found ways to host Cum Laude, Mater Society Ceremony, Alumnae Passport Induction and Prize Day with a new look and format.  Our goal has been to continue to seek ways to share our love, admiration, and pride with the Class of 2020.”

Senior Georgia Ferguson created this video to celebrate the Class of 2020 and their memories of their time at Sacred Heart. Our thanks to Georgia for sharing her video with us.

A previous version of the article inaccurately stated that seniors would have photo opportunities with Mrs Hayes and Mrs. Kathleen O’Connor.

Featured Image by Sydney Gallop ’20