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Graduation Closing Remarks

     Buenos días a todos, que lindo es estar aquí reunidos…
Oh God! Was it supposed to be in English?… Well, now that I have your attention we can actually begin!
     Good morning Mr. Oroszlany, Dr. Ross, Ms. Lehn, Ms. Cupillari, Ms. Lagno and members of
the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff of Loyola, alumni, family, friends, and most importantly,
Class of 2017. With some of my friends we joked how I would stand up here and just start
speaking in Spanish, well, that is done, and even though my Chilean accent will for sure keep
popping up, all I can say is that I’m honored to speak to all of you today.
     I cannot stop thinking as I entered, how filled with love this Church is. Between our
white dresses and tuxedos, the flowers, and the cameras, I feel the joy in everyone’s heart and
that it’s unforgettable. After this beautiful ceremony, we are about to walk away down
the aisle through those Church doors and be called graduates. But first, let’s talk about the doors
that brought us to this altar today.
     When we think about it, our lives are full of doors. In every new path or moment of our
lives, we encounter a door before every new adventure. We knock. We expect someone to open
the door and receive us with hospitality. Our first door was the one of life. As crazy as it may
seem we were all welcomed and blessed with the experience of coming into this world. And one
day the door of life will be closed, but today I want to talk about the doors in between them.
Four years ago before entering the big brown door of Loyola School, we had to leave our
home door. We were now high schoolers, a bit more independent... eh not really, but still. Our
home door, yes, that one that stares at you while you look for the keys, is the strongest of doors.
It is the door of family. The first and last door we see everyday. And without our appreciation of
it, we could not speak about the many others that came later.
     Mr. Oroszlany and Ms. Guevara have been standing next to that big brown door of
Loyola school since the very first day of freshman year. With a smile, he greeted us even though
some of us came in wearing polos with blazers. But it didn’t matter, he just smiled. He knew we
would soon learn much more than just dress code.
     Once inside of Loyola, we discovered there were more doors that were about to be open.
Doors of friendships, sometime scarier to push, and doors of knowledge, many times harder to
pull.
     Let’s begin with those ordinary doors, the ones we became use to seeing everyday. They
were neither light or heavy, but we still had to push and pull. Like the door to our gym: Where
we not only heard so many Grad at Grads, but where we shared PE classes, Christmas
Assemblies, Halloweens and crazy Sports Nights. The guidance suite: the place where we could
always find encouragement, support, some gossip, ok well yes, most of the gossip, but most
importantly: candy. And of course, the one that led to the commons: Held by Mr. Hanley almost
every lunch period, it was in the Commons where the doors of our long lasting friendships
emerged. On our freshmen year we all used to pack just one table for no reason. It was
the place where Frankie and the girls fought over the music played on the speaker, but then Miles
would take the aux cord and play a song we could all agreed on. The Commons door watched us
grow and learn how to be true friends.
     Now, let’s shift to the glass doors. Like the ones in our Science Department. These clear
doors allowed us to see what was going on inside, so we were not afraid of opening them. We
like these doors because when we pass them and see a friendly face inside, we smile and
sometimes we even ask them to open the door for us. Through these doors, we saw Willow eat an
entire pepper, and had the chance to finally taste Mr. Howell’s cookies, which left us all
wondering… where on earth does he buy that coconut oil?
     Sometimes we even opened the wrong doors. During our freshmen year, we all walked
into the wrong classroom and embarrassed ourselves in front of upperclassmen. Other doors have
to be locked. Like our school bathrooms once in awhile. Action had to be taken when our athletic
lockers were just too messy. However, the beauty of doors is that truly, they are never
completely open or closed because there is always that fresh air coming from in between the
door and the wall. This fresh air that stays with us help us learn from the doors we have crossed
and challenge ourselves to open bigger ones.
     Yet, we cannot forget about the stairs that lead us to all the doors. Well yes, with a five
story building, stairs at Loyola are countless. And even though we do have some track
stars in this class, these get everyone. If you come from the first floor, you can not expect to
make it all the way up and reach the top at once. This is the same way in our lives, the stairs to
achieve our goals are often steep and long. This is why many times we must stop. Catch our
breathe. Ask for a friend to please wait, so at least we come into class late together…
Other times, when we think we are finished, we find the heaviest of doors. Like the ones
on our fifth floor. These ones do not open on the first try, so we need to try harder or
to even ask for a hand. Someone to push with you, not necessarily all the way, just enough for
you to be able to enter. This senior year, Loyola has been that “someone” and now we are at the
top of the stairs, standing here on the altar. And we made it. We graduated. All of us.
Class of 2017. Today, while we walk down the aisle and pass those Church doors, let’s
take with us all the memories of the doors we have opened and closed these past four years. I
mean, our class won the girls basketball NYCAL, was the first class to have a dance party in the
commons, broke track and field records, made the best musical in the history of Loyola, and
created homecoming week.
     But we must not forget, after passing this door we will encounter the stairs. Let these be
the steps to our future and the path to more doors to come. Do not let the structure of any of them
ever limit yourself. Embrace the new challenges. KEEP OPENING AND CLOSING DOORS.
From now on, we will have more freedom, so CHOOSE WISELY. Open windows, ask for a
hand. Because there is no better feeling than to welcome others, to make connection, to find
passions. To experience what is behind every door.
     Let us be thankful for ALL doors. Because they did not open by themselves. So, thank
you to our parents -our number one supporters,- our family members and every single person at
Loyola School. Because you reminded us to knock more than once, you had faith on us when all
we wanted was to slam a door, and you motivated us to come through them.
     Today as we graduate, some doors might close, or even lock, but the big brown door of
Loyola School will forever stay open. We will always have Loyola to come back to and to
cherish the friendships and moments we shared as a loving community. So, let’s head back to the
doors of the gym and celebrate these past four amazing years!
Thank you and may God bless the Class of 2017!