ROCKFORD, Ill. — On Friday, July 17 Boylan Catholic High School formally recognized the graduation of the Class of 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Boylan’s traditional commencement ceremony - typically held in May - was postponed. Working closely with the Winnebago County Health Department and other governing bodies, Boylan administration planned a ceremony that allowed each graduate to walk the stage, receive their diploma, and have photos taken. Each student was allowed to bring two guests. Social distancing protocols were followed throughout the event. 

Speeches given by the Most Reverend David J. Malloy, Bishop of Rockford, valedictorian Natalie Muldowney, and co-salutatorians Stephanie Didier and Abigail Kielty were pre-recorded and shared with classmates virtually in advance of Friday’s event.

Among the graduates is one National Merit Finalist - Benjamin Thomas - and 25 Illinois State Scholars. To date, 96 members of Boylan’s Class of 2020 have been offered more than $21 million in college scholarships. This includes a full scholarship to the United States Air Force Academy earned by Carson Coffey. 

This year’s Boylan graduates will be attending colleges and universities across the country, including: Augustana College, Carroll University, Carthage College, College of Charleston, Davidson College, DePaul University, Des Moines Area Community College, Drake University, Edgewood College, Elmhurst College, Grand Canyon University, Highland Community College, Illinois State University, Iowa Central Community College, Iowa State, Lakeland University, Lewis University, Loras College, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University Chicago, Marian University, Marquette University, Maryville University, McKendree University, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Monmouth College, Northern Illinois University, Northwood University, Purdue University, Rasmussen College, Ripon College, Rock Valley College, Rockford Career College, Rockford University, Saint Louis University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, St. Ambrose University, St. Louis University, The University of Kentucky, Tricoci University of Beauty Culture, United States Air Force Academy, Universita Bocconi (Milan, Italy), University of Alabama Honors College, University of Arizona, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Iowa, University of Mississippi, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Notre Dame, University of St. Thomas, University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Washington University, Western Kentucky University, and Xavier University.

The Class of 2020  will also be represented in the U.S. Marines.

“The entire Boylan community is incredibly proud of these students,” said Boylan President Amy Ott. “The coronavirus pandemic dramatically altered their senior year, but no class in the history of our school has managed difficult circumstances with such grace and determination. They have demonstrated their resiliency and I cannot wait to see what they will accomplish in the next phase of their lives.”

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