Members of Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart’s Class of 2020 had to wait a bit due to COVID-19 restrictions, but 27 of them were able to return to campus Aug. 6 for one of the school’s traditional senior year celebrations. Wearing their white graduation caps and gowns – with the addition of matching face masks – and with spectators watching via a live YouTube feed rather than from the pews, each socially distanced graduate in the chapel received a Passport symbolizing her admission into local, national, and global alumnae associations of the Sacred Heart:
Woodlands Academy Alumnae Association (WAAA) – The Alumnae Association, managed by the Alumnae Board, represents 3,500 active alumnae of Woodlands Academy. “It plans and hosts many wonderful events to which you will be invited,” said Kathleen Reidy, Woodlands Academy’s director of development and alumnae relations. “Speaking as a member of the Association, let me tell you that we look forward to seeing you at all of them whether here at the school, in the city, or around the country.”
Associated Alumnae of the Sacred Heart (AASH), which fosters a spirit of unity and ongoing communication among alumni throughout the United States and Canada. It is comprised of more than 40,000 women and men educated in Sacred Heart schools and divided among 45 different member associations located in 26 states and British Columbia. AASH supports and promotes the Network of Sacred Heart Schools and other ministries served by the Society of the Sacred Heart.
The World Association of Alumnae and Alumni of the Sacred Heart (AMASC) Founded in 1966 in Belgium, AMASC is a unique worldwide organization of those who share the privilege of receiving an education based on the love of God and of one another. AMASC includes Sacred Heart alumnae and alumni on six continents: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America.
Following the presentation of Passports to members of the senior class, Loren Ketelsen ’13, vice president of the Woodlands Academy Alumnae Association Board, presided over the turning of the class rings. “Now that you are alumnae, it is time for you to turn your rings so that the hearts face outward,” she said. ”This symbolizes your readiness to explore the larger world, taking your values and Spirit of the Goals and Criteria of the Sacred Heart Education with you. These values that have been encouraged at Woodlands Academy will be core virtues for you to share with the world.”
The Aug. 6 program also included two elements of Woodlands’ traditional graduation ceremony, which was not held this year due to the pandemic. Social studies teacher Peter Cashman offered the “Reflection of a Faculty Member,” while Annika Swanson provided thoughts and perspectives during her Class of 2020 valedictorian speech.
In addition to all the changes due to COVID-19, something else was new about this year’s induction ceremony – five graduates will serve as liaisons between the Alumnae Association and members of their class. “As in years past I asked your class for your top three choices to represent you,” said Reidy. “For the first time there was a five-way tie. It is with great enthusiasm and pride that the Woodlands Academy Alumnae Association extends this honor to Margaret Doheny, Áine Heaney, Jadah Auguste, Isabel D'Angelo and Annika Swanson.”
A recorded musical interlude featured classmate Katheryn Grieve singing “Pie Jesu” as the ceremony drew to a close.