Huron High School celebrated the resilience, courage and creativity of the 413 graduates in the class of 2022 last night at the school’s 54th Commencement Ceremony at Eastern Michigan University’s George Gervin GameAbove Center.
Huron Principal Che Carter knew exactly what the graduates were thinking, since 30 years ago he was in the same seat getting ready to graduate as a River Rat. Carter said at the time he just wanted the ceremony to be over and wondered what he would be doing the next day. Now he’s thrilled to serve as principal of his alma mater. He urged the graduates to embrace the struggle, and work every day using the tools they learned over the last 13 years to follow their path.
The path to graduation for the class of 2022 included many challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In her class message Arya Kamat, asked her classmates to take a moment to recognize all of the successes, failures, and silver linings they found amidst the dark clouds. Kamat said, “I say these last four years, and the learning from them shouldn’t be undermined. It could be next month, next week, or even tomorrow, when we are asked to do something way out of our comfort zone. As difficult, and awkward, and frustrating as it could be, but the obstacles we’ve faced so far have prepared us to be ready for these next steps.”
For Huron graduate John U. Bacon, his path has included writing a dozen books, most recently one focused on turning around Huron’s hockey team from the worst in the school’s history to one of the best in the state in three years. Bacon served as the guest speaker and said no place shaped him more than Huron. He said the key to turning around the hockey team was making the players work really hard, which they embraced and made a point of pride.
Bacon believes today’s Huron graduates went through a similar challenge in earning a world class education that will stand up to anyone they meet. “Huron is hard, and it’s also special because it’s the most diverse high school in my opinion in the nation,” Bacon said.
The Class of 2022 chose English Department Co-Chair and Huron Players Advisor Claire Federhofer to present the Commencement Address. Federhofer offered her top five tips on going on a great adventure. These tips included the fact that starting an adventure is the hardest part, the need to try new things, the benefit of listening and learning from people that are different than you, and conversely the benefit of traveling alone. Finally, Federhofer stressed that every adventure has twists and turns.
“If we change the perspective from which we view the challenge, we open up the possibility to forge new and uncharted roads,” Federhofer said. “Start new adventures and change the course of our lives and others. So class of 2022, as you start off on this adventure, I wish you well.”
The 413-member class of 2022, included 100 students receiving academic excellence recognition for maintaining a GPA of 3.9 or higher. The class also included 11 Presidential Scholar Candidates, 1 Presidential Scholar Finalist, and 21 National Merit Finalists.
The following awards were also presented at the commencement ceremony.
Paul K. Meyers Award – Jeremiah Wilkins and Teresa Moncada-Larrotiz
University of Michigan Citizenship Award – Elizabeth Soroka and Andrew Ye
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award – Vishwas Gondesi and Margaret Watson
Understanding and Sharing Diversity Award – Aidan Drabant and Eilene Koo
Charles Baird Humanitarian Award – Visruth Rajendiran and Meera Ramaswami
Dr. Arthur L. Williams Integrity Award – Luke Nielsen and Clare Fox