Wyoming Catholic College’s Class of 2024 exhorted to “look always to the ‘deep down things.’”

The ugliest part of the world today is that it no longer bothers to notice its own beauty. …The world is not devoid of beauty; it is devoid of beings who recognize such beauty.

—John Walsh (’24)

On Monday, May 13th, Wyoming Catholic College held its 14th Commencement Ceremony, honoring the forty-two young men and women of the Class of 2024, and celebrating the completion of their extraordinary four-year adventure. Held in the Lander Community and Convention Center before an audience of nearly 600, the graduation ceremony struck a familiar tone: a wonder and appreciation for all these student had been gained during their time in Lander, a deep gratitude to the many friends, family, teachers, and benefactors who had made their unique education possible, and a firm commitment to bring the many gifts they had been given—gifts of leadership, of knowledge, of friendship, of “grit and grace”—to bear on the challenges that will face them once they depart.

In this year’s Senior Address, John Walsh (Yerington, NV) told his classmates that they were about to enter a hostile world, “a world in which our faith will be attacked, our intellect scorned, and the uselessness of our liberal education mocked.” He warned them that “our society has, to a great extent, lost the belief that our reality is designed by a loving Artist. And this loss entails the snuffing out of humanity’s only hope for meaning.”

“The majority of men and women rarely confront this profound void of meaning,” he said, “subsumed as they are in a world of hedonistic and technological distractions. What can we do in a crisis like this? …Our mission over the coming years is thus to look always to the ‘deep down things.’ To strive always for glimpses of the dearest freshness that yet lurks in nature and in human experience.” He concluded that “our education has given us the tools and habits for this life of contemplation. We must keep them alive and put them to use. We must constantly pry open the confines of our hearts and let the splendor of beauty, of God’s design, touch our deepest core.”

This year’s Commencement Speaker (and the recipient of the College’s annual Sedes Sapientia Award) was Bishop Robert Pipta, head of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma. In his remarks, he reminded them that “converting the world through a committed Christian Catholic life will be gritty at times, it will be graceful at times, and it will always be grace-filled, as we embrace what God has in store for us. Get on to the work of missionary discipleship, observing all that God has commanded you. Change the world, by making the greatest gift of yourself!”

Echoing Walsh’s words on the beauty that is always present (even when we fail to recognize it), the bishop reflected that “the light of the spirit within the heart—amid the greatest evils we witness in our world—is never extinguished. There is always the goodness of God deep within. So let us live according to the love of God. Let us recognize that we live the love of God firstly by love of neighbor. …Dear graduates, go forth in the life and the light and the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Be that light in the world!”

The ceremony concluded with the conferral of the degrees, as has each Commencement since the College graduated her first class in 2011. This time, though, there was a slight twist: The Stetson each senior receives upon completion has always been an “informal” part of Graduation, but this year marked the first time when it served as part of the formal academic regalia. Gone, the ubiquitous mortarboard (and tassel) that is present at all other college graduations, replaced by a black cowboy hat and a hatpin, bearing the College’s official brand and the year of graduation.

Truly, there is nowhere else quite like Wyoming Catholic College!

The Class of 2024:
Jonathan Andrew Allen (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Anne Elizabeth Baron (Lander, WY)
Benedict Cleophas Blanchard (Flagstaff, AZ)
Gregory Samuel Bowman (Hyattsville, MD)
Dominic Raymond Carstens (Soldiers Grove, WI)

Caleb Ellis Colton (Bella Vista, AR)
Thomas Becket Curley (Bethune, SC)
Zachary Michael Davis (Linesville, PA)
Caitlin Irene Duggan (Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Canada)
Peter Ignatius Marie Ellis (Jewett, OH)

Louis Edward Wenceslaus Favorite (Minneapolis, MN)
William Briggs Fontenot (Ville Platte, LA)
John Campbell Gallaher (Bakersfield, CA)
Clare Elizabeth Gath (Long Beach, CA)
Peter Joseph Gedicks (West Hartford, CT)

Emma James Grayson (Newbury Park, CA)
Maureen Grace Grimm (La Mesa, CA)
Annmarie Elise Hart (New Berlin, WI)
Patricia Bernadette Janis (Anna, TX)
Genevieve Rose Kwasniewski (Lander, WY)

Benjamin Lawrence Licciardi (New Braunfels, TX)
Sofia Grace Lonnecker (Knightdale, NC)
John Paul Timothy Mantyh (Brookfield, WI)
Ainsley Catherine Martignetti (Bossier City, LA)
Brian Boru McNulty (Mason, OH)

Kaitlin Ashley Melenchuk (Zionsville, IN)
Claire Adele Meyer (Bozeman, MT)
Moira Rose Milligan (Bow, NH)
Jess Gerard Mohun (Fillmore, CA)
Anna-Marie Quesada Schubert (Livonia, MI)

Josephine Joy Sederstrand (Huntsville, AL)
Margaret Mary Serchen (New Berlin, WI)
Catherine Anne Sergeant (Grand Rapids, MI)
Juan Diego Ubaldo Torres (Hyattsville, MD)
James Edward Urbancic (Chardon, OH)

Emma Marie Vanderpol (Nevada City, CA)
Kate Laura Wagner (Northfield, MN)
Margaret Grace Wall (Mariposa, CA)
John Tobias Walsh (Yerington, NV)
Eva Constance Welsh (Overland Park, KS)
Isabella Teresa Weslow (Green Bay, WI)
Anthony Michael Witzaney (Denzil, SK, Canada)

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