82 Saints graduate

Published 9:26 pm Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy class of 2014 marches past a line of faculty after their graduation at the school on Saturday.

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy class of 2014 marches past a line of faculty after their graduation at the school on Saturday.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy graduated 82 seniors Saturday morning during an outdoor ceremony that featured Christopher Newport University President Paul Trible as guest speaker.

The class of 2014 heard sage advice from Trible and from Head of School Deborah Russell.

“Love God, cherish your family and make this world a lot better,” Trible urged the graduates. “We must be reminded there’s a loving God who gives order to the universe and loves each and every one of us. He’ll also sustain you in the most difficult times.”

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Speaking on the importance of family, Trible said, “Nobody says, ‘I wish I attended more meetings.’”

Christopher Newport University President Paul S. Trible Jr. was the guest speaker at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s graduation on Saturday.

Christopher Newport University President Paul S. Trible Jr. was the guest speaker at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s graduation on Saturday.

Trible quoted statistics claiming the average American father spends just 12 minutes a day interacting with his children; the average American mother, just 14 minutes a day.

By the age of 6, he said, the average American child will have spent more time in front of a television or computer screen than they would spend with their parents their entire lives.

“Many of the problems our society faces result from the lack of love and commitment to family,” Trible said.

The graduates are about to embark on a journey of discovery, he said.

“Empowered by God and family, I encourage each of you to be a leader, a doer, and make this a better world,” he said. “You’re going to give your life to something. What will it be?”

The class of 2014 has been offered more than $3.3 million in scholarships and admission to 90 different colleges and universities, Head of Upper School Michael King noted.

Salutatorian Benjamin Wilson spoke on the group’s school spirit.

“I think we’ve done some great things at NSA,” he said. “If our class was there, excitement was sure to follow.”

Valedictorian John Hogan inspired his classmates with quotes from several great works, including “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Great Gatsby” and “Lord of the Flies.”

Then he took another tack, turning to the 1989 time-travel film “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” for his final quote: “Be excellent to each other, and party on, dudes.”

Russell encouraged the graduates with her final words to the class: “This is such an amazing group of bright students,” she said. “I’m very confident you all will go on to do many wonderful things in the world.”

See more photos from the graduation on the Suffolk News-Herald’s Facebook page.