Not so long ago we welcomed our students to the 2018-2019 school year holding our back-to-school orientations in the Hoel Gymnasium. It is hard to believe that our school year has concluded and we are now embarking on summer vacation. On Sunday, June 2, we held our 61st Commencement Exercises at Crusader Stadium on the campus of Bergen Catholic High School. It was an amazing and exciting day and we were all thrilled to hold graduation on our campus. We conferred diplomas on 163 seniors; a remarkable group of gentlemen. In my remarks to them, I looked back on our year together and regretted that we had only had one year together. However, what a wonderful year it has been!
Upon arriving at Bergen Catholic a top priority was enhancing our college counseling program. Creating the Crusader College Counseling Experience yielded outstanding results. Our seniors are attending impressive colleges and universities; however, most importantly, these institutions are the best fit for them. The class of 2019 received over $31.5 million dollars in merit-based scholarships. This is an increase of over $10 million from $21 million dollars from last year. Evidence of a good school and the education that it delivers is the multiple acceptances seniors receive. I am delighted to report to you that our senior class received multiple acceptance to an extraordinary number of schools and among them are Cornell, Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College, just to name a few. A complete list of schools our seniors are attending can be found here
At Bergen Catholic, we have a deep commitment to our faith and opportunities for both mission and service to others. Throughout the year, our students have traveled to Peru and Argentina carrying with them the spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice seeking ways to improve the lives of the poor and marginalized. Our students also traveled to parts of Appalachia in West Virginia, went on numerous local retreats, and raised funds for St. Baldrick. Many sports team volunteered to organize ways to support local humanitarian efforts, recognizing that the need to help others is never far away.
Throughout the year many of you helped us grow enrollment at our school. Some of you volunteered at Open Houses, joined us for Accepted Students Night, or became an ambassador for our school by sharing the great buzz about Bergen Catholic with neighbors, friends, and co-workers. Thanks to your collective efforts, coupled with the hard work and dedication by alumni and admissions office, we are welcoming our largest freshman class in 8 years. The class of 2023 is currently 211 students and we look forward to welcoming them to the Brotherhood and their families to the Bergen Catholic community.
On a personal note, thank you for making my first year at Bergen Catholic so wonderful. I admire your sons so much and enjoyed greeting them in the mornings, hearing about the exciting lives they live, and watching them grow, mature, and succeed. We are blessed and have so much to be thankful for. I wish you and your families all the very best this summer and may it be glorious months of laughter and love with family and friends. May God continue to bless you and your family.