By Mark E. Vogler
Alan Joseph Silipigni was just a 14-year-old freshman at Saugus High School when his sudden death left family members, classmates and friends heartbroken in late November of 2019. Nearly three and a half years after his passing, the late member of the Class of 2023 received a special tribute last Friday (June 2) – an honorary diploma awarded posthumously.
“It is fitting that the first diploma for the Class of 2023 be issued in honor of this wonderful young man,” Saugus High School Principal Brendon Sullivan said as Alan’s parents – Joseph and Pam Silipigni – were called to the stage in Christie Serino Jr. Memorial Stadium to accept the diploma on their son’s behalf.
“Alan was a beloved member of the Class of 2023 and the Saugus Community, who was called from us too soon,” Sullivan said.
“A lover of sports, scouts and the Sachem Community, Alan was a positive force in the Saugus Schools. Alan’s legacy will live on in the form of the Alan Silipigni Memorial Scholarship,” the principal said.
Luciana Lancellotta, one of Alan’s teachers, presented the diploma to Mr. and Mrs. Silipigni.
Friends and relatives remembered Alan as a conscientious student who got good grades (“All A’s and B’s and one C in Biology”), a dedicated altar server at the Blessed Sacrament Church and an enthusiastic member of Saugus Boy Scout Troop 61, a proud member of the Saugus High golf team and a prolific Boston Red Sox fan who openly spoke about becoming the future general manager of the Red Sox when asked what he wanted to do when he grew up. He would often sport Red Sox and Patriots haircuts to display his love for Boston sports teams.
Nearly a week after Alan’s tragic death in late 2019, many in the community converged at Town Hall for the town’s annual tree lighting, which featured a celebration of the young man’s life. His cousin Krista Silipigni posted messages on social media, imploring town residents to wear Red Sox apparel in memory of Alan, who was known to be a huge Red Sox fan.
Many people in the crowd complied with that request, wearing Red Sox hats, jackets and sweatshirts. Board of Selectmen Chair Anthony Cogliano made arrangements to have a two-foot round Boston Red Sox holiday ornament bearing Alan’s name and angel wings mounted on the Norwegian spruce tree that had been planted that year.
Two Alan Silipigni Memorial Scholarships were awarded this year. Sarah Elwell will be attending the University of Maine this fall to study Psychology. Wiktoria Biegun plans to study Diagnostic Medical Sonography at Regis College.