Commencement – The Beginning

photo 1By Dr. Debra Colley

On the morning of our commencement,  I noticed how beautiful the campus looked with the timely arrival of spring (finally).  It was a tranquil and welcoming campus waiting, it appeared, for the laughter, the tears, and the excitement of commencement to begin.

It seemed like just yesterday that our graduates were moving in, looking for a parking spot for their first Tuesday morning class, or just beginning their research with faculty.   But here we are as witness to the accomplishments of the 1,100 graduates of Niagara University – the time has truly flown by.

One of the most pronounced honors I have as a dean is to present the candidates for their degree.  From baccalaureate to doctoral degrees,  it is with great pride that I watch our students walk across the stage knowing that we have inspired their quest for knowledge,  promoted inquiry in their response to the critical issues, and built the connections between theory and the professional skills they need for their career.    It is the persistence to go the distance, the commitment to excellence, and the willingness to lead and to serve that is evidenced in the accomplishments of the newest alumni of Niagara University.

This marks a new beginning for the class of 2014 and my message is to remember that the ‘world is your stage.’ Choose your path wisely; thank everyone along the way; continue to learn and nourish your spirit;  embrace all people, especially those who are poor and who are most in need; and make a deliberate difference in all that you do.

photo 2

Congratulations to all of our graduates and to the many people, family and friends, who have supported them along this journey!