More than 200 Judge Memorial High School students turned their tassels Sunday afternoon inside the Capitol Theatre in downtown Salt Lake City, signifying their graduation from the state's largest Catholic high school.
Valedictorian Carla Gismondi told the school's 64th graduating class to be cautious of setting goals and objectives as they and other graduates across the nation look into their futures."This week, valedictorians across the country will be speaking of setting goals and objectives," she said.
"I feel we need to be wary of setting goals . . . rather, we need to be looking right in front of us," Gismondi said, adding that living for the moment is just as important as planning for the future.
"There is always something just in the distance that disrupts the present . . . live life for the sheer beauty of life itself," she told her classmates.
"As you move through the years ahead, remember, keep your goals in perspective," she said.
In her salutatorian address, Cynthia Johnson told students, "Our education is not ending, rather, it is just beginning.
"Now it is time to leave Judge Memorial, our alma mater, . . . it is our turn to set an example for the next generation," she said.
Judge graduates - the women wearing white and red caps and gowns, the men in red and gold - were honored with a standing ovation, and during the conferral of diplomas, periodic shouts came from enthusiastic supporters in the audience.
College-bound Judge students will be the recipients of $465,000 in scholarships and other aid, Academic Vice Principal James Yerkovich told hundreds of family members and friends who packed the theater.
Some graduates will be attending college at the University of Utah, while others will be traveling to such schools as Columbia University in New York City, Judge officials said.
The Most Rev. William K. Weigand, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City, was to confer diplomas during the ceremony, but was ill and could not attend the commencement, a faculty member said.
Sister M. Joan Allem, superintendent of Catholic Schools, offered the invocation during the ceremony, asking that the students be "filled with a sense of service for those in need" and that they "respect the duties which attach to every human right."
The ceremony, she said, "signals the end of one milestone and the beginning of another in the lives of these graduates."