What are the High School Graduation Traditions at St. Agnes?

St. Agnes Academy
High school graduation traditions are a right of passage for seniors and what makes graduation memorable. At St. Agnes, senior traditions are plenty and deep-rooted. Find out what makes our graduation traditions unique.
Graduating from high school is a significant milestone in one’s life that will often evoke memories of pride and joy. Senior year of high school is arguably the most memorable, filled with parties, traditions, tears, new beginnings, and more.

At St. Agnes Academy, partaking in the graduation traditions as a senior is almost as significant as the graduation ceremony itself. Our high school graduation traditions and celebrations are deep-rooted. Some traditions have been a part of our school’s history for years, and others have evolved over recent years.

10 Wonderful High School Graduation Traditions at St. Agnes

Find out more about each of our traditions for seniors, starting at the beginning of a student’s senior year and continuing until the final ceremonial hat toss.

1. Welcome Week

During the first few weeks of school, St. Agnes seniors are paired with entering ninth-grade students to welcome new first-year students, impart wisdom, and deepen the bonds of sisterhood through various fun activities.

During Welcome Week, seniors have fun dressing in costumes, taking part in theme days, and participating in a parade where senior and freshman student pairs are revealed. This week kicks off the beginning of many more senior celebrations.

2. Mother/Daughter Senior Style Show and Luncheon

Seniors and their mothers are invited to participate in the Annual Mother/Daughter Senior Style Show and Luncheon every year. Students are given the day off of school, have their hair and make-up professionally done, and get to dress up and model designer dresses in a school-sponsored fashion show.

Underclassmen are invited along with family members to celebrate and support the seniors as they walk the runway in on-theme dresses. It is a fun way of recognizing each Academy woman's inner and outer beauty. 

3. Senior Privileges

Once students make it to their senior year, they are granted special privileges that honor their hard work and dedication for the last four years.     

Senior Section

A long-time tradition observed at St. Agnes, special seating areas for senior students in the cafeteria, Student Commons, library, or auditorium is taken very seriously. Special seating gives seniors priority access to lunch lines, preferred seating areas, and opportunities to enter and exit assemblies first.

Off-campus lunch

Leaving campus for lunch is considered a special privilege only granted to seniors in their final days.

Senior Skip Day

Senior Skip Day is another privilege often granted by the Dean of Students to the 12th-grade students.

4. Senior Prank

Before the last day of school, it is customary for seniors to prank the school or faculty in some way. Every year the pressure builds to see which class executes the best prank.

This tradition always surprises everyone and gets a good laugh, from wrapping the school and rearranging all the furniture in every classroom to putting the school up “for sale” and decorating the parking lot with paint and color powder.

5. Decorating Skirts

On the last day of school, seniors show off their college pride by decorating their uniform skirts with their new school colors, mascots, logos, and sayings. We’ve seen it all…. markers, paint, stickers, patches, pompoms, tassels, jewels, tie-dye, and more!

6. College Announcements

In today’s digital world, Gen Z announces their college acceptances on social media. @stagnesacademyseniors is an Instagram account that features and congratulates St. Agnes seniors on their accomplishments and announces where they will be attending college and their intended major.

This tradition is relatively new and was created during COVID to commemorate seniors when in-person gatherings and celebrations were not allowed.

7. Madonna Day Baccalaureate Mass

Families and friends are invited to a special Baccalaureate Mass on the Friday before graduation to celebrate seniors. During this Mass, the symbolic crowning of the Blessed Mother takes place, the principal makes her address to the departing students, the salutatorian gives her final inspirational words to her classmates, and members of the graduating class present the Class Scholarship.

The Class Scholarship is really a tradition in itself, where students are asked to contribute to a scholarship created in their name that will help provide tuition assistance for young Academy women for years to come. 

8. Powder Puff Game

Every year, the seniors and juniors take part in a rival Powder Puff football game to see which class can take the title. This game always yields a large crowd and is lots of fun to watch.

9. Senior Sunrise

The friendships formed at St. Agnes Academy are strong, and to think of leaving friends behind as the new college journey begins is sad. To give seniors a few more moments to make memories together, Senior Sunrise was created.

During this beloved event, students gather in the school parking lot at dawn to watch the sunrise together, eat breakfast in the community, and take pictures to remember this particular time.

10. Senior Retreat

While St. Agnes students participate in a class retreat yearly, the Senior Retreat is unique and sacred. Senior students have one last chance to bond with their classmates, renew their relationship with God, and remember how much they are loved before moving on to the next step of their lives.

The retreat encourages each student to consider how she will continue to preach the Gospel with her words and her life. According to St. Agnes alumnae, it is always one of the most powerful and remembered events.
These are just a few of the St. Agnes traditions that take place prior to a student’s graduation day. There are many more conventional and widely-known traditions our Academy women take part in, like receiving a class ring, the turning of the tassel, and the famous hat toss, but these are some of the ones that make graduating as an Academy woman unique.

Join the St. Agnes Community

We are proud of our high school graduation traditions! You can read more about many of the other traditions carried on at St. Agnes Academy in Veritas Magazine.

If being a part of a community that is steeped in tradition and honors its graduates in extraordinary ways sounds like a place you want to experience, apply to St. Agnes today.

Find out why families choose St. Agnes Academy for themselves, their daughters, and their granddaughters, continuing their legacy at St. Agnes Academy year after year.