CHARLESTON—When Carter Thomas Rogers walked across the stage to receive his diploma from Bishop England High School on June 1, he followed a path taken by three generations of his family before him.
His mother, Beth Brown Rogers, graduated from Bishop England, as did his grandmother and great-grandmother.
Carter is one of 29 legacy graduates at Bishop England, meaning at least one previous generation from each family received diplomas from the school. He is also one of six students who are fourth-generation legacy graduates. All 29 students were inducted into the school’s Legacy Society and received a special pin to mark the honor.
Legacy students and their families say they are proud of their strong ties to their alma maters, and their families’ generations-long commitment to Catholic education.
“It’s a great feeling to graduate from the same school as my mom, grandmother and great-grandmother,” Carter Rogers said. “It’s even more special knowing some of my teachers taught my mom or were her classmates 30 years ago. Bishop England is much more than just a high school — it’s like one large extended family. I hope one day when I have kids they can carry on the tradition as fifth-generation graduates.”
Beth Rogers said Carter was the last of her children to graduate from Bishop England.
“I went to Catholic schools all my life and my husband decided before we had kids that we were going to send them to Catholic schools as well,” Mrs. Rogers said. “I loved my experience at Bishop England and love the friendships I still have with my classmates. I wanted that kind of experience for my kids.”
For Natalie Arnold, Bishop England has been part of her life for 82 years, ever since her grandmother attended in 1937. Mrs. Arnold’s daughter, Katie Ann Arnold, is one of the fourth-generation graduates.
“As a parent I am hopeful that by investing in Catholic education, I provided an opportunity for my daughter to … grow her faith,” Mrs. Arnold said. “I am confident she will draw strength from this strong foundation, as I know I have.”
Katie said attending the same school as her mom gave her a unique chance to grow closer to God.
“Through the campus ministry at Bishop England, I have been able to connect with my faith in ways I never thought possible,” she said.
At Cardinal Newman School in Columbia, eight students are legacy grads. Vladimir Dyllann Gorrin is the fourth generation of his family with connections to the school. His stepmother, Sophie Hodaly Gorrin, graduated in 2003 and step-grandmother, Terry Castrichini Hodaly, graduated in 1975. His connections go all the way back to his step-great-grandmother, Anna Katherine Bultman Castrichini, who was a 1945 graduate of Ursuline Academy, the Catholic school that preceded Cardinal Newman.
Meanwhile, a new tradition of legacy graduates will begin in the fall at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville. Brodie Miller, 11, will enter sixth grade at St. Joe’s and will be the school’s first legacy graduate when he reaches his senior year. His mother, Allison Moon, was part of the school’s first senior class when she graduated in 1997, and her mother, Margaret Ann Moon, was one of the school’s founders.
“The Catholic school experience is special because faith is at the heart of the curriculum,” Mrs. Moon said. “We wanted our son to have a chance to be exposed to that. He’s very excited about it.”