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88th Commencement Honored Another High-achieving Class

June 18, 2019

With its Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science Team ranking 1st in Illinois, members of the Friars’ Class of 2019 are poised to make their mark in the world.


The 278 members of Fenwick High School’s Class of 2019 received their diplomas three weeks ago and are finalizing college plans. Notably, the class had one of the highest composite ACT scores (26.7) in school history.

“Thirteen of our outgoing seniors have been recognized in the National Merit Scholarship Program: four were finalists and seven were commended,” reported Richard Borsch, Fenwick’s director of college counseling. “Another two students have been named as National Hispanic Recognition Finalists.”


Highlights among the class’s other notable accomplishments:

  • The Fenwick Varsity TEAMS team placed first in state and fifth internationally. 
  • Two students scored a “perfect” 36 (maximum score possible) on their ACT.

Avyn Alairys and Ciara Mulcahy are co-valedictorians.

Co-Valedictorians, Salutatorian and Student Speaker

Oak Park, IL resident Avyn Alairys (left) and Elmhurst resident Ciara Mulcahy (below) are the Fenwick co-valedictorians for 2019, while fellow Elmhurst resident Spencer Gallagher is the salutatorian. The University of Illinois-bound Alairys also was the student commencement speaker, as elected by his classmates. He is a graduate of Glenn Westlake Middle School in Lombard.

“Beyond their grade point averages, we are so proud of these three, versatile young people for everything else they have accomplished while here at Fenwick,” Mr. Borsch said, adding that his praise extends beyond the trio of honors students’ academic achievements and stellar test scores. Mulcahy, an alumnus of Bryan Middle School, will attend Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Gallagher (not pictured) will attend the University of Illinois with Alairys and 22 other Fenwick classmates. He is an alumnus of Visitation Catholic School.

776 Scholarships & 3 Military Appointments

Principal Peter Groom concluded by noting that “201 members of Fenwick’s Class of 2019 have been awarded 776 scholarships from 159 universities and foundations. Monetarily, that translates to 72% of the class receiving academic recognition in excess of $48 million. “May 24th was their day to celebrate four years of diligent studies and time management,” he said. “We congratulate each one of them and officially welcome them to the Fenwick Alumni Family.”


So where are these new Fenwick alumni going to college for the 2019-20 academic year? “Friar Nation’s” latest class will spread its wings across the United States and the world. Eighty-four Fenwick Friars have been accepted to highly selective colleges listed among the “Top 50” by U.S. News & World Report, including one Ivy League school: Cornell University in New York. Other selective schools where our students will attend: Boston College, Centre College (Kentucky), College of the Holy Cross, University of Chicago, University of Edinburgh (UK), Fordham, Georgetown, UCLA, University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), Kenyon College (Ohio), Lehigh (Pennsylvania), Northeastern University (Boston), University of Michigan, Notre Dame, Occidental (Los Angeles), Pitzer (Claremont, California), University of Southern California, Trinity College (Connecticut), Tulane (New Orleans), Villanova (Philadelphia) and the University of Wisconsin (Madison).

Notably, Payton Comstock and Michelle Eckhoff have been accepted by the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; Comstock will be a member of the Navy men’s water polo team. Jacob Marchetti, meanwhile, is bound for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, ready to serve in the U.S. Army.


Fenwick’s 2019 graduates will attend a total of 96 institutions of higher learning. Here is a breakdown of the Top 21 schools enrolling Friars:

Marquette University (26)
University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign (24)
University of Notre Dame (16)
St. Louis University (13)
Loyola University – Chicago (12)
Indiana University (10)
University of Dayton (8)
University of Illinois at Chicago (8)
DePaul University (7)
Miami University – Ohio (6)
University of Wisconsin - Madison (6)
Michigan State University (5)
University of Missouri (5)
DePauw University (4)
University of Arizona (3)
Purdue University (3)
St. Norbert College (3)
Tulane University (3)
University of Colorado (3)
University of Michigan (3)
Villanova University (3)







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