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With 89 students, the Class of 2018 has been awarded over $41 million in scholarships, the largest in the school’s history and Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep is sending 100 percent of these new alumni to college.

On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the new graduates received their diplomas at a Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Ceremony held for the first time at our new building at 3106 Belvidere Road in Waukegan. About 850 parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, board members, teachers, staff and supporters applauded the graduates

“Your success in reaching this moment is our collective success as people who care about you,” President Preston Kendall said. “Today we are celebrating you, the Class of 2018. We also honor the people who stood by you, the people who are persons for others whose caring is for you. Together, you remind all of us that we are all Children of God and God is with us always.”

Fr. Brian Paulson, SJ, Provincial at USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, presided over the Baccalaureate Mass, applauding students for making it to the finish line. “You did it, you made it. My hope for you is that you go on to give back to the world with your God given talents and to go out of your way to care for the weakened and vulnerable in this world.”

Fr. Paulson went on to provide some useful life advice, telling students to choose their friends well, carefully select their courses, find reflective alone time for themselves every day.

“I hope you keep that spirit and energy you have today,” said Mike Odiotti, CRSM principal. He quoted Bob Dylan saying:

“May your heart always be joyful And may your song always be sung. May you stay forever young.”

Odiotti recognized the benchmarks the Class of 2018 has set including over $41 million in scholarships, up from just $800,000 the Class of 2008 was awarded when he joined CRSM 10 years ago. Other milestones included:

  • 100 % of graduates headed to college
  • 97 percent accepted to four-year colleges
  • 89 students graduated, one of the largest classes
  • Colleges include: Northwestern University (three students), Middlebury, Tufts, University of Notre Dame, Providence, Brandeis, Loyola University Chicago, Dominican and Santa Clara

Odiotti also called out the tremendous service and social justice work the students have done throughout their tenure at CRSM, including standing up for immigration rights at the Nogales border town and learning from the experiences of their peers at the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. He also called out their entrepreneurial spirit and talent, citing the Theater by the Hour program that was created by the students themselves.

Honorees included: Alex Hoy who received “The Spirit of St. Martin Award,” Julissa Jasmine Medina, Valedictorian and Jose Manual Martinez, Salutatorian. Kendall and Chairman of the Board Chris Perry handed out the diplomas.

“Go forth and set the world on fire,” said Odiotti.