Bishop Garcia Diego senior class holds in-person graduation ceremony
The senior class at Bishop Garcia Diego High School received their diplomas Friday evening and reflected on the milestone of graduation.
The in-person ceremony was held at Eva Jane MacDonald Memorial Field on the Santa Barbara campus, where the class of nearly 70 students gathered in their graduation gowns — the boys in red and girls in white — surrounded by family members and friends.
The Cardinal commencement began with a processional led by Head Marshal Maddox Stretz, followed by an invocation from Marshal Daniel Kagramanov. Bishop Diego junior Emily Whitney performed the National Anthem as well.
The school’s president, Karen Regan, provided a welcome and introductions, and the Rev. John W. Love gave the commencement address. Fr. Love attended Bishop Diego High School himself and continued on to Westmont College before entering the seminary and being ordained into the priesthood. He has served in 10 pastoral assignments as associate pastor, administrator, pastor and vicar forane, and is currently wrapping up a 12-year assignment as pastor of St. Mark’s University Parish at UCSB.
The Class of 2021 valedictorian — senior Luke Williams — gave a speech to his class and all the guests.
The senior served as a Cardinal ambassador for three years, worked on the Campus Ministry team and in the STEAM society, was captain of the tennis team and competed in varsity soccer, track and tennis for three years.
Outside of Bishop Diego, Mr. Williams is an Eagle Scout from Troop 33, a tennis camp counselor at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club and is a participant in many of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s community outreach opportunities.
The valedictorian reached more than 1,000 volunteer hours throughout his high school career, earning him the Christian Service Award from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
He’s also the West Coast Kids Co-Lead of the St. Joseph’s Trust, and he created a science curriculum on the Jan. 9, 2018, Montecito debris flow and the Wildfire Debris Flow Linked Cycle with assistance from professors and teachers.
His other involvement includes being a member of the National Teen Advisory Group for teen Mental Health First Aid. He was also invited to be a panel speaker at the annual National Council for Mental Wellbeing Conference.
Mr. Williams plans to attend Stanford University, majoring in geological sciences.
Bishop Diego senior Katelyn Hoidal was the Class of 2021’s salutatorian, and she provided remarks about her class moving onto their next stage in life.
Her accomplishments include: serving as a Cardinal ambassador; serving on the Associated Student Body team all four years; serving as class vice president; being involved with Campus Ministry and STEAM; playing varsity volleyball, soccer, track and softball; and creating a Bishop Bible study. Outside of school, Ms. Hoidal was actively involved in her church, and she ran the Los Angeles half marathon, raising more than $4,000 in order to provide 80 kids access to clean water for life.
The salutatorian plans to attend Pepperdine University next year, majoring in political science and minoring in nonprofit management.
The senior class was then presented and conferred diplomas. The school president presented the Cardinal of the Year Award to senior Evelyn Ramirez.