Portrait of a Graduate: Oxford High seniors walk the stage

Published 4:05 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Oxford High School seniors celebrated the completion of their high school career on Friday, May 20, at the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss.

A total of 303 graduating seniors, families and friends filled the pavilion to witness the end of one chapter in their lives and the start of a new one. The SJB Pavilion was colored in Oxford blue and displayed the faces of graduating seniors on the jumbotron, tying together the theme of that day’s event.

The Oxford High MCJROTC Color Guard presented the colors and OHS principal Noah Hamilton welcomed students and guests before Superintendent Bradley Roberson took to the stage.

During his speech, Roberson said their senior year is a “milestone filled with memories” that the graduates should keep and remember fondly.

“Your high school years will always recount the stories of a worldwide pandemic and living through history that will be written about for years to come,” he said to the graduating students. “Hearing your name as you accept your diploma is a privilege that you have earned.” 

After Roberson’s remarks, Student Council President John Wilkinson, Jr. issued the Class Welcome. Wilkinson was followed by Salutatorian Numa Maryam and Valedictorian Luke Zhang who both delivered student addresses.

Maryam graduated with a 4.58 GPA and has been accepted into the Sally Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi and major in Biology and Zhang graduated with a 4.67 GPA and plans to attend Washington University at St. Louis where he will double-major in Computer Science and Mathematics.

Finally, Class President Catherine Louise Bianco delivered a farewell speech to her classmates signaling the end of their high school years. After all the speeches were done, the seniors could begin walking the stage and receiving their diplomas.

Before students walked into the rest of their lives, Roberson took to the stage once again and left them with a parting message.

“Once you step off of this stage, the world is wide open for you to continue to grow and achieve your dreams,” he said. “My hope is that you will fulfill our Portrait of a Graduate and live your life as an effective communicator, creative thinker, critical thinker, and active citizen; as one who is resilient, ethical, culturally aware, and personally responsible. Our world needs more of this from all of us.

Many people have invested in your journey to this stage—parents, family members, teachers, coaches and mentors—all of whom are beaming with pride tonight,” he continued. “Always remember to show gratitude to those people who have supported you this far. On behalf of the entire Oxford School District, I would like to congratulate you on becoming an Oxford High School Alumni. You are now a Charger for life.”