Class of 2024 Shines at Commencement Ceremony

Class of 2024 Shines at Commencement Ceremony

Amid cheers, tears, and a palpable sense of accomplishment, the Class of 2024 bid farewell to Santa Margarita in the 34th commencement ceremony at the iconic Honda Center in Anaheim. This year's commencement marked the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new journey for 385 Eagles.

The Most Rev. Thanh Thai Nguyen, D.D., auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Orange, presided over the ceremony, joined on stage by Diocese of Orange Superintendent of Catholic School Erin C.O. Barisano, Ed. D., members of the school’s administration, and Santa Margarita chaplain Rev. Florante Moren, A.M.  

“Graduates, as you stand on the threshold of a new chapter equipped with knowledge and guided by the light of your faith, remember to seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and lean on the values that have been instilled in you,” Barisano said. “In this world that is yearning for hope, may you be beacons of light, demonstrating through your actions the transformative power of Caritas Christi.” 

Maia Choe, Boston College 
Kylie Kwon, University of California, Los Angeles 
Emma Lee, University of California, Los Angeles 
Kelly Lu, University of California, Los Angeles 


Logan Kim, University of California, Irvine 

Caritas Christi Award Recipient:  
Lauren Kirby, Texas Christian University  
Nominated by faculty and staff, the recipient embodies all that is good about Santa Margarita Catholic High School, living out the school’s charism of Caritas Christi, the love of Christ.  

The Class of 2024 valedictorians reflected on the school’s core principles of Compassion, Humility, Justice, and Goodness during their valedictory addresses: 

Compassion isn’t just about holding the door or lending a pencil. It’s in the moments when we listen to our friends, reach out to strangers, or simply offer our support to anyone in need. . . . Regardless of our differences, we should recognize the face of Christ in everyone we meet. . . Remember the smallest acts of compassion can have the biggest impact.” - Kylie Kwon ’24 

“Humility is the ability to recognize our shortcomings, set aside our egos, and seek the help that we need. SM has always been a place where the support system can be facilitated, so long as we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and seek it.” -Kelly Lu ’24 

“Justice isn’t a solution; it’s a continuous mission that calls for each of us, as our school charism states, to respect and advocate for the dignity of all people and creation. We must stand up for those who lack the power to stand up for themselves and face the world with compassion, humility, and goodness.  -Maia Choe ’24 

“…I can confidently say that everyone here has been touched by the goodness of our school’s Caritas Christi spirit…In light of all the worries and anxieties we may have at the start of our college career, it is important to keep perspective of what matters. I hope you will not forget the goodness that this community has shown you, and you will use that memory to embody that same goodness.”  -Emma Lee ’24 

SMCHS President Andy Sulick ’91 offered this advice for graduates:  

Prioritize your relationship with God: Together with God, you are loved and never alone. 
Practice Gratitude: Strive to be grateful every morning, using that gratitude as a lens through which to live your day. 
Choose Empathy: Strive to see the world from others’ points of view; it will benefit your personal and professional relationships. Our world needs more empathy. Let empathy start with you.  
Find Your Grit: Grit is what makes you successful. Sometimes life knocks you down; grit gets you up.  
Never Lose Hope: Stay filled with hope no matter what happens in life.

Graduates will be attending 144 different colleges in 35 different states and five countries.

100% acceptances at 187 colleges

2,295 college acceptances

65 collegiate student-athletes

99% will attend college

2 National Merit finalists

30 NM commended students

16 collegiate visual and performing artists

53 full IB candidates

5 students serving our country at a US Military academy

Congratulations to the class of 2024!


To access photos and watch the 2024 Commencement ceremony, see the links below. 

Baccalaureate Photos    Commencement Photos  

Commencement Live Stream