D’Youville Celebrates the Class of 2019
Years of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice, in and out of the classroom, were recognized Sunday, May 19, at Kleinhans Music Hall during D’Youville’s Spring 2019 Commencement ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate students.
A second ceremony was held in the afternoon, where combined bachelor's and master's degrees, Master's of Science, and Doctorate degrees, including for the School of Pharmacy, were awarded
“As you go forward, beyond D’Youville, over the rest of your lifetime, you will be routinely faced with complex problems sometimes in high-pressured circumstances,” she said. “D’Youville has prepared you to handle those times, with strength, with knowledge, and with compassion.”
She called the D’Youville graduates the first “collaboration generation.”
“You will solve problems. You will make discoveries and advance solutions. You will create in ways that those stuck in the old world cannot even begin to imagine.”
The president saluted graduates for their myriad service efforts. From occupational therapy students who organized and hosted an inaugural “Once Upon a Time Prom” for students with special needs, to students who traveled to New Orleans and Puerto Rico to assist with hurricane relief, and future leaders who spearheaded literacy efforts in Nicaragua, she said the work done by students had a profound impact. “Families and individuals are able to return to their homes and schools with renewed hope and safe shelter because of your work,” she said.
Clemo then challenged the graduates: “I call on each of you to choose an intractable world problem, then pledge to solve it. Embrace this challenge, not for the rewards you may receive, but for the opportunity it affords you to have a life full of meaning and purpose. Challenge yourself to lead, and also to collaborate.”
D’Youville bestowed a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, on U. S. Air Force Captain Jessica L. Tait, who served as the keynote speaker at both commencement ceremonies. As the public affairs plans officer for United States Forces Korea of the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, Tait’s unit was selected by the government of Thailand to assist in the search and rescue of the junior soccer team trapped in the Tham Luang Cave system. The team was successfully rescued after being stranded for 18 days.
Tait served as the U.S. military and government spokesperson as the rescue unfolded.
During her address, Tait told D’Youville graduates, “Today we not only celebrate your graduation ceremony but recognize the next generation of change-makers about to step into the world and make it a better place.”
Recalling the role she played during the cave rescue, Tate addressed three major themes: getting out of your comfort zone, believing that failure is not an option and the power of hope.
“This mission was fueled by hope. Not just the hope of one person, but an entire country, the international community that came to support, and captivated audiences worldwide. I now know with unwavering certainty that when people come together through the power of hope, anything is possible.
“So have the courage to step out of your comfort zone. It’s the only way to grow into the best version of yourself. Never let failure be an option despite the circumstance. You are capable of anything, and if you are willing to do what it takes, you will accomplish every goal. And when life feels impossible, ignite your heart with the power of hope. It will light the way.”
Sarah Jean Caputi, Bachelor of Science in Health Analytics, delivered the undergraduate salutatory address, telling her fellow graduates “College is about learning to adapt, and that is something we were all able to do. One of the most important things that I learned at D’Youville is it’s not the number of mistakes you make, but how you handled them an what you learned from them.
“Success isn’t about finishing school the fastest or having the best grade. It’s about being happy in what you choose to pursue and accomplishing your goals.”
The’ Myat Noe, Bachelor and Master of Science in Biology and Anatomy, the salutatorian for the graduate class, delivered the address to the Class of 2019.
Christina Joyce ’10, vice president of the D’Youville Alumni Association, formally inducted the new graduates into the association. “The alumni association provides a vital link between over 20,000 living alumni and the College through our student programs, career networking, alumni events, philanthropic support, and reunions. However, there is another responsibility that comes with being part of this association.
“As a proud alum, we ask you to tell the story of D’Youville. Tell them about the caring community that you have been a part of and the opportunities you have had to study in a globally recognized college.”
Sister Mary McCarrick, O.S.F., member of the D’Youville College Board of Trustees, offered the benediction at the undergraduate ceremony: “Be blessed, be a blessing as you live Marguerite D’Youville‘s pledge and never refuse to serve. God give you peace and joy!”