Graduation traditions

  It is fourth quarter and the buzz around Broughton seniors graduation and the many activities that come with that much-anticipated day.

  Seniors, most of whom are not immune to the disease senioritis, have put up countdowns to graduation on classroom boards and are longing for the day they have been working up to since they first stepped into the halls of this castle-like school as freshman. This time of year is mostly full of celebration as students are hearing back from incredible schools and scholarship opportunities that are opening doors to the future.

 Graduation and festivities for seniors have created traditions that every senior looks forward to when it is their turn on the receiving end. Broughton is lucky enough to hold many traditions that are unique to the school only.

  One of the first exciting traditions that seniors are offered is the 4.2 Dinner, for invited seniors who have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 4.2 or above throughout their time at Broughton. This dinner is a fun, and delicious, celebration for those seniors who have worked hard and excelled in their classes in their four years in high school. Every year, the dinner is held at Caffe Luna in Downtown Raleigh.

  The next major senior event is the Interfaith Candlelight Service on May 15 in the Diane Payne Auditorium. This service is for students and family at 7:30 p.m. An interfaith service, students and families of all faiths celebrate their past four years and the future that is to come. There will be speakers from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths at this Interfaith Service.

  Broughton students are so lucky that they attend a school that provides so many fun activities that celebrate all of their accomplishments. On May 24 at 5 p.m., students and their families are invited to attend the Senior Family Picnic on the front lawn of the school. This is a time of fellowship for all senior families and students. Family members and guests should purchase tickets prior to the picnic, but students will not have to purchase a ticket.

  Senior Assembly is arguably one of the most joyful and exciting days of the school year for both students and faculty at Broughton. Senior Assembly is an assembly for the entire school on May 25 in the Holliday Gym. This assembly honors all seniors who will be graduating this school year, and graduating students wear their cap and gowns. At this assembly, senior awards are offered and Mr. Stephen Mares, Broughton’s principal, recognizes all scholarships offered to the senior class. This is one of the most anticipated days of the year and acts as a “graduation” for the school to see.

  On Sunday, June 5, senior parents sponsor a Baccalaureate service for all seniors. This service is a parent-sponsored Christian service designed to exalt Jesus Christ and honor the 2016 Broughton senior graduating class. This service includes prayer, music, encouragement and testimony from graduating seniors, and takes place at Edenton Street United Methodist Church at 5 p.m. The speaker for this service will be Wells Thompson, a professional soccer player for the Carolina Railhawks. The Baccalaureate service provides an opportunity for seniors to invite friends and family who cannot attend graduation. Seniors will wear their cap and gown to this service.

  Two days after the Baccalaureate service, on June 7, Broughton will honor the graduating seniors who have participated in the IB Diploma Programme. This IB Medallion Ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. in the Diane Payne Auditorium.

  The most hallowed days of the entire Broughton school year is graduation. This is the day that Mares has been instilling in the seniors’ brains since the first day of freshman year. Every test that students have taken, every project that students have finished, every hour of community service that students have completed, and every extracurricular activity that students have participated in is celebrated on this day.

  Graduation will take place on Thursday, June 9 at 10  a.m. in the Holliday Gym. Seniors will wear their cap and gown and enter down the aisles of the gym as “Pomp and Circumstance” plays in the background. Students will receive their diplomas and their name will be recognized for family and friends.

  Broughton is one of the only schools in North Carolina to be lucky enough to hold its graduation on its campus in the gym. This is such a meaningful aspect of graduation, as students are able to finish their four years on campus, rather than a sight off-campus.

  Directly following graduation, seniors flock up to the third floor to climb the dreamed-about stairs of the iconic Broughton Belltower. The Belltower is one of the symbols of Broughton and no student is allowed to enter the it until the day of Graduation. Seniors climb the Belltower with sharpies in their hand, ready to sign their name and leave their lasting mark on Broughton. This is such a special tradition that every graduating senior is able to take part in.

  “I am so excited to climb the Belltower for the first time and sign my name in it. I’ve always thought this was such a unique tradition at Broughton and can’t wait to leave my mark in this incredible school,” senior Lily Schneider said.

  Immediately following graduation, as seniors sign the Belltower, students and families are also invited to congregate on the front lawn for a reception of lemonade and cookies. This is another extremely special tradition for the seniors, because they conclude their time at Broughton on the hallowed grounds of the front lawn. The front lawn is cherished by Broughton students, because these graduating seniors once congregated on the front lawn on the first day of school during lunch for the Freshman Pizza Party. This reception truly allows seniors to come full-circle with their time at Broughton, starting on the front lawn on the first day of freshman year and ending on the front lawn on graduation day.

  Broughton is such a special school and contains a myriad of traditions, and these graduation festivities truly do exemplify the traditions embodied in this incredible school.