Words of Hendricken class speakers: Learn about yourself, guide others & ask ‘why not?’

Posted 6/13/24

In the 63rd Graduation Exercises, Bishop Hendricken High School celebrated the graduating Class of 2024 at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence Monday night.

A total of  145 …

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Words of Hendricken class speakers: Learn about yourself, guide others & ask ‘why not?’


In the 63rd Graduation Exercises, Bishop Hendricken High School celebrated the graduating Class of 2024 at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Providence Monday night.

A total of  145 students received diplomas after listening to co-graduates Daniel D’Alessio, class valedictorian and Jack Hamilton and Logan Perrigo, salutatorians.

Following a welcome, three students placed flowers at the sarcophagus of Bishop Hendricken, the first Bishop of Providence, who the school is named after.

Principal Mark DiCeccio ’03 stated that in the graduating class, there were college acceptances to 165 colleges and universities, which included nine Ivy League acceptances, and four service academy appointments. There was also $33.3 million in college scholarships offered.

DeCiccio welcomed the Class of 2024 and their family and friends.

“So, when times get hard – and they will because life is hard – I urge you to make good use of what you’ve learned and the skills you’ve harnessed to get through it. And you will get through it!” he said.

The common theme that Jack Hamilton, Logan Perrigo, and Daniel D’Alessio offered was to inspire their fellow graduates.

Jack Hamilton spoke about the challenges of high school, whether it was working on his time management or exploring his interests and passions. He said, “Do not be afraid to delve into your interests, no matter how random they may be – you will learn more about yourself in the process and you will discover what brings you true joy in life.”

He spoke about how learning different languages was the first real interest and passion he learned in high school. Hamilton also spoke about how he learned to stand up for himself while staying true to who he is, and distancing himself from people who would put him down. He ended his speech with an inspiring message thanking Hendricken for shaping him into the man he is today.

 “Most importantly, we must defend those things we love from those who might compromise them. Hendricken has helped me to discover how unique and individual the Hendricken man can be from one person to another, and we should all strive to love our neighbor as ourselves as Christ taught us,” he said.

Co-Salutatorian Logan Perrigo spoke about the benefits of a “why not?” attitude.  As a sophomore year he joined the Gardening Club. He said at the end of his junior year, even though the school year was ending, he continued to go to the school and tend to the garden. He asked himself, “Why did I do this?” he said, “Why not?”

Perrigo had a “Why not?” attitude throughout his high school career at Bishop Hendricken has helped shape into who he is today. Another instance was when he went on the Peru Mission trip this past April and how it changed his life.

“In terms of my own personal development, those times sitting around a fire and reflecting were some of the most powerful moments of growth for my sense of faith and personal identity. And it was all because I said “Why not?”.”

 “And that right there is the key attitude present throughout this class that is so special to Hendricken. Why not? Those moments where each of us chose to say, “Why not?” and put in that extra effort are where many of us have found our greatest successes.”

Perrigo concluded, “Like a fire, this Class of 2024 has roared and served as a light in the lives of countless individuals. With the passionate people in our lives that we have met through Hendricken, whether it be teachers, coaches, or friends, these people have been the sparks that have ignited us, and this special “why not” attitude is what has kept this fire burning.”

Valedictorian Daniel D’Alessio spoke about challenges the Class of 2024 has overcome and how they were told “no.”

During their freshmen year, the class could not attend their Freshmen Mass of Welcome in the fall due to COVID-19 which was held in the spring. D’Alessio said, “However, at Hendricken, there was one challenge we faced that has had an impression on me more than the rest, and that was that our experience was going to be different, and that we would just have to deal with it.”

He said that no matter how many times they were told “no,” the beginning of their high school careers did not define them into who they are saying, “In my eyes, what defines our class is not our experience with Covid, nor any other obstacle we faced, but the successes that we achieved. We never took “no” for an answer.”

D’Alessio said he thought the graduating class was one of the best classes to graduate from Hendricken, he said, “We knew no limits, and we certainly never took “no” for an answer.”

 “I have no idea what each of us will become, but I have full confidence that we will all do it with grace, and that we will all successfully conquer our own corners of the world, because we will be the lighthouses, And because we will never take “no” for an answer.”

Bishop Hendricken alumni Dr. Salvatore Napoli ’91, this year’s Commencement speaker,  told the class to prioritize relationships over achievements. Napoli said, “I have found that success is based on relationships you develop with your teachers, friends, colleagues, and future mentors. Find like-minded people who will help guide you in life. Great counsel is indispensable, and it is the best asset available,”

He said even though mistakes will happen in life, they are not a bad thing. “Mistakes, failures, and red marks will happen. Don’t see them as a negative. All achievements happen in the settings of failure and hard times. Don’t look back; learn and get stronger and better,” said Napoli.

Bishop Hendricken President Father Robert Marciano likewise spoke to the graduating class about how the challenges they faced during their time at Hendricken have made them who they are today, saying, “No doubt, this educational path has not been an easy one for any of you, nor was it ever supposed to be. It is in the inherent rigor here – in the classroom, on the playing field, on the stage – that you have grown into young men ready to take on the world.”

Even though the Class of 2024 ends one chapter, they will be starting a new chapter in in the fall when they attend college or start their careers.

Hendricken, grads, graduation


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