Montevallo High School honors Class of 2022 graduates

Published 2:30 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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MONTEVALLO – The newest graduates of Montevallo High School celebrated the completion of their high school careers at a commencement ceremony on the night of Monday, May 23.

The 94 graduates walked across the stage at the University of Montevallo Student Activity Center to accept their diplomas before a large audience of their family members, MHS faculty members and guests.

“You have all had a profound impact on the development of the students that will be graduating tonight, and I feel that it’s safe to say that I speak on behalf of my whole graduating class of 2022 when I say thank you for all the efforts that you have invested in us to this day,” Blessing Adejumo said in her salutatorian address. “Today is no small feat. Graduating is a significant and life-altering achievement that is worthy of celebration.”

Adejumo noted the students’ determination, perseverance, hard work and sacrifices in their journey to graduation, which she said is not the end, but instead the first step of their next chapter.

“Take pride in how far you’ve come, have faith in how far you go and don’t forget to enjoy your journey,” Adejumo said. “Never hesitate to recognize how proud each and every person is here today of you for completing such a long, difficult task. Today is a milestone; it tells how far you’ve come, so keep learning, keep trying, keep accomplishing, keep venturing on this journey of life.”

Adejumo said high school not only taught her about different academic subjects, but also about the value of friendship and the growth that can come from making mistakes.

“I have no doubt that every graduate here will find a way to succeed in their life, and I encourage all of you to pursue what is most important to you, pursue what you believe you can make a difference in,” she said. “I encourage you, Class of 2022, to not only follow the opportunities that are available to you, but to pursue and follow a cause that is important to you. The possibilities that lie ahead of you are endless, so don’t be afraid to take the next step.”

In her valedictorian address, Olivia Gilbert shared a quote from American writer Kurt Vonnegut that says, “True terror is to wake up one morning and realize that your high school class is running the country.”

“The question is, will I one day wake up terrified?” Gilbert said. “Will I one day wake up knowing that Vonnegut was right?”

Gilbert made reference to another quote from Vonnegut, “A step backward after making a wrong turn is a step in the right direction,” and urged her classmates to consider his words.

“I ask you to take a step backward and consider how our choices will impact the world we are entering today,” Gilbert said. “I ask you to register to vote, I ask you to be engaged in civic life, I ask you to support women, I ask you to support those that do not look like you.”

Gilbert said she and her classmates need to create a world in which they wake up and are proud of their generation.

“This is a special moment. We should ask ourselves about this moment,” she said. “In the words of Vonnegut, ‘How wide is it? How deep is it? How much of it is ours to keep?’ Vonnegut always believed in the importance of these moments, that moments simply are, that the best moments are those where we are kind and where we truly human. In our lives of little moments, why waste a single one trying to prove that our identity is more important than another human identity?”

Gilbert said she is hopeful about the future as she and her classmates move forward.

“I am not scared of the moments that will make up our future,” Gilbert said. “I’m not scared of the world we will create. I’m only hopeful that we will use kindness to create an equitable and just world for our friends and neighbors, those we have not met yet and those we will never meet.”