EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Seniors at Loretto Academy were supposed to graduate on Sunday, but since that ceremony was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, faculty and staff at the school set out to still make it a memorable day.

The school’s president, principal, and a few other faculty members visited the 78 graduating seniors to deliver their cap and gown personally. “What we want is to let them know if that we love them, and we’re proud of them, and we want to celebrate them on this, their graduation date, as many ways as we can,” said Loretto Academy President Sr. Buffy Boesen. 

The bus was loaded at the high school at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and driven to nearly every zip code in the Borderland. It came as a surprise to the seniors who thought the graduation festivities had ended with a baccalaureate mass, which was held via Zoom days before. 

“It is definitely not the senior year I pictured,” said Bonnie Abbot. “Everyone’s effort from church and Loretto have made it really special.”

Abbott has attended Loretto Academy since Pre-K and said she felt emotional because of how the year ended.  It was a sentiment also shared by another graduate, Dafne Molina. 

“It feels like more of a conclusion since the school year ended so abruptly, it was like such a gesture from our staff members to go out of their way to make us feel special,” said Molina.  

Molina added the experience of seeing the familiar faces of some faculty members outside her house with graduation gifts was almost as good as walking on that graduation stage.