Benet Academy Graduation 2013

When Benet seniors put on their cap and gown today, they also added a purple ribbon to their traditional red and white in honor of a classmate lost.

Jennie Dizon of Downers Grove would have been graduating today, but she died Thursday when she was struck by lightening.

“I think it’s safe to say that a great many of us are struggling, to make some sense of these inexplicable events,” said Benet’s principal, Steven Marth in his opening address.

“It was a horrible tragedy and everyone was torn up about it,” said graduate Nicole Rizzo. “I think it was awesome knowing we could celebrate her life and celebrate all that she was because she truly did touch each person here.”

Dizon’s family accepted her diploma and as her classmates accepted theirs, many wore tributes to Jennie.

Graduates from this class have been accepted to 104 different colleges and have earned $36 million in scholarship money to continue their educations; a future the students feel prepared for.

“Benet has been kindling the flame in each of us,” said graduate Christian Yon, during his Valedictorian address. “And now that we’re graduates we’ll be taking that light with us and spreading it to so many different places and so many different people.”

“We know how much Benet does for us and now that I’m a part of that, it’s great,” said graduate James Hickey. “I feel so ready for the world, so ready for college, it’s amazing.”

46% of the class we named Illinois State Scholars and 18 were named National Merit Finalists.


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