A mixture of feelings was felt in the air during the Commencement ceremony that took place last Saturday December 2 at the school. Joy for the new coming phase; emotion of being with all the classmates of the generation for the last time and of receiving finally the so desired graduation diploma from the Santiago College; nostalgia for all the moments lived at school and sadness for finishing a great phase of life and starting a new beginning, each one on a different path.
As it is traditional, the 124 members of class 2017 entered the rose garden accompanied by juniors who carried the evergreen chain: an endless chain made by natural pine, representing the passing of new generations and escorted by the school headmistress dressed in cap and gown.
During the ceremony the students remembered their former classmate who sadly died of cancer at the beginning of the year, Andrea Kukljan. Hes father, Manuel Kukuljan Padilla, came to give a message to the seniors based on his daughter’s experience of life. He said that one of the greatest lessons that Andrea gave him was her capacity to transform feelings of rage and fear into something positive, which gave her strength to face her illness and live happily the little time she had. Because in the end – he said – happiness is an option of life, regardless of the situation where everyone is.
In turn, the SC headmistress Miss Lorna Prado Scott urged Seniors not to be down because of adversity, not to render, and to always fight to overcome the problems faced in life. “Even though the river sounds powerful and has lots of turbulence, you should always find moments of silence. Stop, calm down and listen to yourselves. Silence is a very powerful ally that will lead you to reflect, to see the different perspectives shown by life, that will help you take the best decision that you would have ever thought of,” she said.
Finally, Miss Lorna proceeded to hand in the seven distinctions granted by the school at the end of the school life, where the following students were acknowledged: Isabel Fernandez-Bussy Cavagna-Martínez, ECIS Award; Cindy Wen Qian, Creativity Award; M. Jesús Albarrán Soto, Fernanda Ramírez Bravo and Sebastián Camus Solari, Sportmanship Award; M. Jesús Albarrán Soto, Salutatorian Award; Antonio López Van Der Schraft, Valedictorian Award. Finally, the student Camila de la Cruz Diuana was acknowledged with the Finer Humankind Award, the most important acknowledgement granted by the Santiago College that symbolizes a group of values professed by the school: joy of living, responsibility, solidarity, perseverance, respect and honesty. Camila –very moved and in tears- thanked her parents for all they had done for her during her life. She also thanked the teachers for their dedication and what they had taught her, both intellectually and morally, “for me teaching is one of the noblest professions that exist. I have always found that in SC teachers have much passion for what they teach and that makes you fall in love with the subject and the school at that”, she added. She also thanked the auxiliary staff, the administrative staff and all those who daily work for the school to make it fell like “home”. Finally, she ended by saying that she is very proud of having graduated together with this so united class that she feels like a large family.