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“Strange, it doesn’t feel real,” said Jenifer Polson of Avon, as she prepared to take part in BSU’s annual Graduate Commencement Convocation. “It feels like I should be registering for classes in the fall. It hasn’t set in yet.”
The graduates, along with hundreds of family and friends, attended the ceremony, which was held in the Rondileau Campus Center auditorium.
President Dana Mohler-Faria shared with the graduates his congratulations, as well as a few parting words.
“Your time at Bridgewater has been meaningful not only to you but to us,” he said. “As you embark on those journeys and continue the journey ahead of you remember that all of us are not simply by ourselves, and what we do advances the connection in the human fabric.”
In closing, the president told the graduates he hopes the best for each of them.
“I wish you happiness, good luck and good fortune and I hope you will remain connected as a part of this community,” he said.
Dr. Howard London, provost and vice president of academic affairs, who will retire in June after a lengthy career at Bridgewater, delivered a speech where he reflected on his time at the institution. He shared some of his trademark humor in the thoughts he directed to the graduates.
“For the people who supported you, they deserve a really good dinner and great back rub,” he said.
Louis M. Ricciardi, ’81, chairman of the BSU Board of Trustees, delivered greetings from the board and told the graduates to take chances in life.
“The single most important thing beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare,” he said, paraphrasing the poet Maya Angelou.
Mr. Ricciardi also shared some thoughts on leadership: “Try to inspire, as we do at Bridgewater everyday, and you can see the results.”
Kathleen Smith, G ’88, superintendent of Brockton public schools, delivered the keynote address. She had encouraging words for the graduates.
“You are the masters of your own destiny,” she said. “I encourage you to always trust your instincts.”
Thomas Thibeault of Easton, who earned a master of public administration degree, told his fellow graduates: “It’s time to close our text books and apply our knowledge, and show the world what a Bridgewater State University graduate can be.”
Two major graduate awards were presented. Patrick Kelly of Waltham, who earned a certificate of advanced graduate study in educational leadership, received the Distinguished Graduate Research-Project Award. Christopher Amuzzini of Randolph, who earned his master’s degree in English, was presented with the Distinguished Graduate Thesis Award.
Milene Chioatto of Falmouth was among the graduates, receiving her master’s degree in social work. She said she was thrilled to see her hard work paying off.
“Graduating is very exciting, four years in the making,” she said. (Photos by students Brian Zayas and Nicholas Allende, as well as Michelle Hacunda, ’12; story by student Caitlin Seddon, University News)
VIEW THE CEREMONY IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE COURTESY OF TVS.
SEE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS BY TVS HERE.