June 17-23, 2004
By Kristen Fox / SUN Staff Writer
The Class of 2004 at Bishop Ludden Jr./Sr. High School Buries a Time Capsule
On Saturday, June 12, Bishop Ludden Jr./Sr. High School held its commencement exercises for the Class of 2004. One-hundred-and-sixteen students received their hard-earned diplomas and said their farewells to a school that is close to their hearts. As they opened a new chapter in their lives, they also made sure that their days at Ludden are not forgotten. Five days before graduation, members of the Class of 2004 –– wearing hard hats and with shovels in tow –– buried a time capsule in the northwest corner of the school’s new Center of Artful Expression. “We are excited to bury the time capsule,” said Julia Heymans, Senior Class President. “It shows how important Bishop Ludden is to us. We will always remember it as we go on to our lives’ journeys.” Julia, who will attend Colgate University, said that creating the time capsule was something that officers of the senior class and student government wanted to do to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2004 and to mark the new construction of the school’s art center.
The Class of 2004 expects to open the capsule at its 10-year reunion. It contains memories from the students’ time at Ludden, including old yearbook pictures, a Bishop Ludden pen, cup and polo shirt, a Time magazine and a newspaper from June 2, 2004 –– the seniors’ last day of classes. “We wanted to put in things that will bring back great memories when we open it,” said Kathleen Maguire, who will be attending Le Moyne College in the fall. “All these things mean something to us.” The new 10,000 square-foot art center will be located on the south side of Bishop Ludden’s 100 academic wing and will house five classrooms and a photo lab. The vocal and instrumental programs of the music department will be located in one half of the facility. The other half will provide space for three art classrooms to support a comprehensive curriculum. Directly attached to one classroom will be a state-of-the-art photo lab addressing both film and digital media. Currently, the art and music classrooms are scattered throughout the building. Principal Dennis Meehan said the construction of the school’s Center of Artful Expression, which he expects to be completed in time for the new school year, will provide much-needed classroom space. “We are cramped right now, driven by the fact that numbers [of students involved in the art and music classes] continue to grow,” Meehan said. “There is no question that the increase in space will provide us with greater comfort and room for these programs.”
Al Thomson, instrumental music teacher, is looking forward to the centralization of the art and music classrooms. “It will be nice to have everything condensed,” he remarked. According to Thomson, growing class sizes have made it challenging to fit students into classrooms. “The classes have physically grown out of the areas. There are so many kids participating in the instrumental and arts programs that we had to do something,” he said. Rhonda Bertollini-Henderson, chair of the art department, agrees. She also believes that providing more space for the school’s art and music programs sends a positive message to the students who participate in them. “It is usually the sports programs that get this and that,” Bertollini-Henderson said. “We work hard to make our fine arts program what it is. It’s nice to see it recognized for a change. It makes the kids feel good.”
The class of 2004 marks the first class at Bishop Ludden Jr./Sr. High School to complete its four years of high school and graduate in the new millennium. In spite of the class being one of the smallest graduating classes from the school, the young men and women have contributed over 25,000 hours of community service over their years at Ludden –– the most of any class to date and a milestone in the 42-year history of the school. Senior Terry Smith, who plans to attend Ithaca College, explained why volunteering was important to his class. “By volunteering we are helping other people,” he said. “It also brought us together as a class. We have really developed a closeness.” Terry, who was a member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, said that Bishop Ludden offers students many opportunities to get involved, such as Campus Ministry, Vincent House and St. Camillus Rehabilitation Center. “There is something for everyone,” he said. Terry said that he will miss many things about Ludden –– from the friends that he has made to the class retreats. “It is such a great school,” he said. “It would be hard to say what I will miss most.” Kathleen, however, knows what she will miss most. “I am really going to miss everyone, especially the teachers,” she said. “They inspired me to become a teacher. They are wonderful.”