Commencement 2012 Celebrates Graduates, Honorees
May 16, 2012
Emmanuel celebrated its 90th Commencement Exercises on the College's campus on May 12th, conferring more than 600 degrees to bachelor and master's candidates. Ms. Anne Hawley, Norma Jean Calderwood Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, delivered the Commencement Address and received an honorary degree. The College also honored Ms. Alexandra Oliver-Dávila '92, the Executive Director of Sociedad Latina.
To view a photo gallery of Emmanuel's 2012 Commencement, click here.
"Leadership" and "involvement," which became the hallmarks of Emmanuel's Class of 2012, were themes discussed by speakers throughout the ceremony. Sahal Abdi Osman, a graduate representing the Graduate Studies, and Bernadine Desanges, who received a B.A. in sociology, were chosen as this year's student speakers, each addressing the topics during their respective discourses.
Osman entitled his speech "Call to the Effective Learners and Leaders" and highlighted the challenge of completing a graduate degree while balancing work and family. Desanges underscored the many ways she and her classmates served as "trend setters" at Emmanuel, while continuing to drive themselves individually to achieve their goals.
"As role models, the Class of 2012 set new standards in regard to what it means to be a well-rounded Emmanuel College student," she said. "Each of you is here today because someone believed in you. But most importantly, you believed in yourself.
"Never forget the home we chose to make our place," she added. "Today, May 12, 2012, marks the end of one milestone that simply opens the doors to achieve so much more."
In addressing the graduates, College President Sister Janet Eisner, SND reflected on the journey on which the outgoing seniors embarked during their four years at the College and the impact they had on Emmanuel. She encouraged those present to continue onward with the same enthusiasm and determination they demonstrated as students.
"Way back in 2008 when I welcomed you to Emmanuel, you took to heart your Orientation theme, ‘This is your place,'" she said. "As involved students and leaders, you created new organizations to ensure you had a place in the College...You have been leaders since arriving on campus and I challenge you to continue to lead as you write the next chapter of your lives."
In her Commencement Address, Ms. Hawley reinforced the importance of staying well rounded. She shared the one wish she had for the graduates - to care and nurture their imaginations as a means of developing ideas and dreams and establishing a path toward making them happen. While so much emphasis is placed on recent graduates' career pursuits, she emphasized the importance of maintaining other interests.
"I urge you - in fact I beg you - to find an avocation for your life. What might be called an amateur pursuit or hobby," said Ms. Hawley, who received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts during the ceremony. "Because as you head into your careers you will find they will be extremely demanding. They will take all of your time. And if you don't set up a pursuit outside your work, you will find that all your time is taken up by your work. You won't be setting boundaries and you won't have a rich and fulfilling life in other places."
Ms. Hawley became the director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1989 and has been instrumental in the restoration and preservation of the historic museum. Most recently she was the driving force behind the museum's $114 million expansion, including a new concert chamber, a gallery for the shows of the artists-in-residence, a restaurant and a lounge. She is the founder of the Cultural Education Collaborative, an organization dedicated to stimulating arts education and arts public policy. She became the executive director of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities in 1977 and in 1988 won the Lyman Ziegler Award for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Ms. Oliver-Dávila received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the Commencement Exercises. She is the director of Sociedad Latina, a nonprofit organization located in Mission Hill that works with Latino youth and families to end destructive cycles of poverty, health inequities, and lack of educational and professional opportunities. In her citation, read by Vice President of Government and Community Relations Sarah Welsh, Ms. Oliver-Dávila was praised for her work as "a leader and mentor [who] has inspired thousands of Latina youth in the mission Hill neighborhood of Boston to foster their potential and find confidence in their race, culture and language."
Two members of the Emmanuel College faculty were also recognized during the ceremony: Assistant Professor of Psychology Jacqueline Alfonso Barry and Associate Professor of Mathematics Jeanne Trubek. Alfonso Barry was honored with the Faculty Excellence Award while Trubek was conferred the rank of Professor Emeritus. Trubek served Emmanuel for 19 years, contributing to its strong mathematics program. Sister Janet acknowledged her "leadership in the field of mathematics and the deep commitment to the students and the mission of the College."
With the Class of 2012 now officially among the alumni ranks, the College also welcomed seven new legacies to the Emmanuel family:
Deanna Borrelli '12 (Kristina Borrelli '10, sister)
Paul Wentworth '12 (Kevin Wentworth '10, brother)
Kara Foley '12 (Kaitlyn Foley '04 and '09, sister)
Jeanne Micalizzi '12 (Elizabeth "Betty" Grimes '46, grandmother)
Laura O'Shea '12 (Mike O'Shea '09, brother; Mary Favaloro O'Shea '75, mother)
Brenna Catherine Hunt '12 (Aideen Hunt '78, mother; Catherine Guthrie '53, grandmother; Eleanor A. Meskell '51, cousin, godmother)
Emily Brady '12 (Stacy D'Amico '81, mother)
Deirdre Jango Lathrop '12 (Jane Lathrop '11, sister)
Cristina Quagliato '12 (Irene Dillen Griffin '57, grandmother)