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Celebrating the Class of 2024

For those of us dedicated to educating young men in the tradition of the Basilian Fathers at St. Michael’s College School, the end of term always yields mixed emotions. We are proud of all of our students and everything they have accomplished; we are also sad to begin the slow process of bidding farewell to our soon-to-be graduates. This ending to this school year has been especially challenging as we grieve the loss of our teacher, colleague, and friend, Mr. Frank Heijmans, the much-loved physics teacher and head of the Science Department.

Each graduating class has its own unique character and mixture of personalities, so finding the common thread that ties them all together can be a challenge. To the surprise of no one within the St. Michael’s family or with ties to it, the sense of community and interconnectedness of our alumni is perhaps its most enduring quality. Generations of St. Michael’s graduates have imbibed the charisms of Basilian education and now live lives rich in faith, character, and service. So, it is to the theme of community that we return again and again when discussing the graduates of 2024.

SMCS Graduating Class of 2024

When looking at the post-secondary destinations of our graduates this year, perhaps the most striking fact is that 19 students will be attending Huron University at Western. When asked to explain their attraction to Huron, a few mentioned Huron President Dr. Barry Craig’s keynote address a few years ago at our University Information Night. Most, however, note that they decided after visiting the campus and noting its similarities to St. Michael’s: small classes, school spirit, academic challenge, passionate faculty, a close-knit student community, and an unrivalled network of alumni.

Our newest graduates have an eclectic range of interests and plans. Although arts and social sciences are the most popular choice with 31 per cent, business and commerce are a close second with 30 per cent. Nineteen per cent will focus on applied sciences like computer science and engineering and 12 per cent will pursue a field in the life sciences. The remaining eight per cent are split evenly between natural sciences and architecture and planning. Although architecture represents a fairly small number among the total destinations, we see the number increasing gradually year over year.

Class of 2024 | Grads walk through the arch for the first time

Outgoing student government president Braeden Leon-Williamson ’24 comments, “I was originally interested in engineering, but I have since shifted my focus to business. Huron offers the high standards of Western but with smaller classes and a tight-knit community.”

Lukas Kovar ’24, outgoing vice president, notes the comparison to St. Michael’s, “Huron is similar to St. Mike’s with the smaller classes and the sense of community.”

It is worth noting that, with the speed of information, ease of travel, and the global reach of education and business, students do not need to remain in Canada. Isaac Tichbon ’24 observed that his community of support reaches as far as the United Kingdom, where he has extended family and where he plans to pursue his university studies. Combining the Basilian foundation of service with his interest in science, Tichbon plans to focus on pharmacology with a view to eventually conducting clinical trials on the use of psychedelics in the treatment of mental illness.

Class of 2024 | Graduation Mass at Holy Rosary

Even those who plan to travel for study will bring the spirit of St. Michael’s with them. Carson Weber ’24 will study business in the United States, following several recent graduates to the University of Notre Dame. While mindful of the “incredible opportunity to study at such a prestigious university,” Weber was quick to highlight another selling point when he said, “I’m excited to continue my religious education at a Catholic institution.”

Closer to home, our community is similarly blessed by opportunity. Eric Xiao ’24, who had the distinction of finishing Grade 11 with the highest academic average, is looking forward to studying engineering science at the University of Toronto, a highly selective programme at a world-class, Canadian university. While Xiao’s good nature and sense of humility generally incline him to a certain reluctance to discuss his own achievements, it’s worth mentioning what a well-rounded St. Michael’s Man he has become with his emerging interest in science and engineering (close to 20 per cent of our graduates will pursue engineering or computer science) combined with a gift for music. Of the next phase of his journey, Xiao notes: “We are fortunate to have a world-class, internationally recognized programme close to home. I always enjoy a challenge, and engineering science at the University of Toronto will definitely be a challenge.”

Class of 2024 | Valedictorian address

These are but a few of the stories our 2024 graduates are beginning to write. Wherever they may end up, we know they will carry the spirit of the St. Michael’s College School community with them, and we wish them the very best.

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