On Thursday, Aug. 22, 163 seniors at St. Paul’s School followed in the footsteps of their predecessors in the annual March Through the Arch ceremony. In this long-standing tradition, the new seniors march down La Salle Drive through the arch at the entrance of campus as their fellow peers, teachers, and family members stand watch on either side of the drive.
“It’s scary, quite honestly,” noted senior Thomas Huval. “It feels as if just yesterday, I was a puny little eighth grader, but now I’m a senior and I’m ready for life.”
Mike Cooper, mayor for the city of Covington, led the pack of seniors down La Salle Drive, making this year’s march even more special. Cooper, who graduated from St. Paul’s in 1971, made March Through the Arch history by being the first mayor to lead the procession, according to school sources.
The tradition is a meaningful one for seniors. When asked about March Through the Arch, Colin Skinner, the third and final of the three Skinner brothers to come through St. Paul’s, was literally speechless and had no comment.
After the seniors completed their famous march, they all gathered around the statue of the school’s founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle, in the prayer garden and sang a song known quite well around the St. Paul’s campus, “Rise Up O’ Men of God.”
“Singing Rise Up O’ Men of God was probably one of the most magical moments I’ve experienced along my journey as a St. Paul’s student,” noted Huval.
After the march, the seniors’ special day continued with a breakfast provided by the Broken Egg Café of Mandeville followed by a Unity Day in the theatre on campus. That night, the seniors received their senior rings at the annual ring ceremony. The following day, the seniors were treated to a day off of school to celebrate their new status on campus.