Congratulations to the 160 graduates who make up the Class of 2020! We are incredibly proud of them for reaching this milestone and for their positivity while adapting to this unconventional end to their time at SMUS.
While their graduation this year looked different, we are proud to have been able to celebrate and recognize the Class of 2020 in a variety of ways. Above, you can watch the complete virtual Grad Ceremony, held on June 19. We also launched grad.smus.ca, where you can read biographies of each graduate, learn about our academic and athletic award winners, and read a full recap of the year in athletics.
In addition, Grade 12 students who were able to make it to campus were invited in small groups to a socially distant graduation ceremony, and those living outside of Victoria were able to participate in virtual gatherings. It was a delight getting to see many of the graduates to celebrate with them.
Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
Below are excerpts from valedictorian Kate O’Connor’s speech, which you can watch in full as part of the Grade 12 Graduation Ceremony video above.
by Kate O’Connor ’20
Obviously, this isn’t how we imagined the end of our high school career. But this unconventional end does not take away from our 12 years of schooling, and all we’ve accomplished to be here today.
We should be proud of ourselves. We’re living through extraordinary times. For some, the end of high school may feel anticlimactic. I know I felt weird and sad after I turned in my last assignment from my bed on a Thursday night and then rolled over and went to sleep. But high school is hard even under normal circumstances and making it to the end is a monumental accomplishment.
Personally, I don’t know many others apart from the grad class of 2020 who can say they graduated during a global pandemic. We will definitely remember our graduation, and in turn be remembered, for years to come.
It’s hard to leave a home and the people, places, the familiar that you know, but once you leave you don’t just forget. Anywhere you’ve called home always holds a place in your heart, unique in what you learned, what you came to love and who you are. We will move forward into the world with the SMUS community in our hearts emboldened by our shared experiences of camaraderie, losses, wins, sadness, and joy.
But we will take separate paths. Our grad class is diverse in many ways, including our diversity of interest. We all love different things and through our time at SMUS we have been given the space to grow into the people we want to be.
As we look at the world we are entering, it’s scary. With climate change, incompetent leaders, racial injustices, and a growing wealth gap it is easy to lose hope. But we are entering a world that demands change. We will need competent leaders, and kind, empathetic, smart, passionate, loving, energetic, determined, strong human beings. We have learned how to be those people at SMUS. So even though this is a scary world we’re entering, it is a time of opportunity and a time for us to affect change.
Browse and download photos from the in-person Grade 12 graduation events on the SMUS Photo Gallery. Photos of members of the Class of 2020 who attended can be found by typing their full name (eg. Kate O’Connor) into the “simple search” bar.