Historical Corner: OLP Graduation Through Years

OLP Graduation Through Years

By Dr. Melinda Blade, Director of Mission Integration and Historian

On Friday, May 25, 186 seniors will receive their diplomas from OLP. Those 186 young ladies officially will be OLP alumnae and will receive their membership in the OLP Alumnae Association. They then will move onto exciting challenges and adventures.

Although founded in 1882, OLP’s graduations date back to 1891, when the first graduate is noted, but alas, we have not yet found her name. The 1892 graduation however, is mentioned prominently in the local newspaper. The two high school graduates, Maude Blethan and Maude Lightner, graduated in the Academy's Hall at Third and A in downtown San Diego, as did the five elementary school graduates. The exercises began at 3 PM in June, bur no
date is given.

The ceremony began with Shubert’s Opus 40 being performed by three students, with the graduates of both the high school and the elementary school wearing white, gray and pink costumes. The vocal class then sang Ava Maria accompanied by a guitar. The reporter described this as being done in a “manner to seize upon the imagination and touch the heart.”

After another musical interlude, Maude Blethan delivered her salutatorian address. It was entitled, “Deeds are fruits, Words are but leaves.” Three more songs were performed by various students and then the valedictorian,
Maude Lightner, delivered her remarks. They were entitled, “ Nothing Great is Lightly Won,” an exhortation that also served as the class motto. Our reporter described this speech as being well received, with “spectators being visibly moved.”

Gold and silver medals were presented to the top students and were given by Father Antonio Ubach. Father Ubach then addressed the graduates and
their families and friends. The program concluded with more music, both vocal and instrumental.

OLP’s 2018 ceremonies may not include selections from Shubert, Chopin, Leutner, and Abt, but it will be joyous occasion for the graduates and their families and friends. Congratulations to the Class of 2018!