The year has officially come to a close. I’ll miss our Pioneers and the everyday hustle and bustle. It won’t be the same without a crowd at Linda’s or students walking swiftly to class in the Main Academic Building. But while it is bittersweet, it’s been a great year. The past few weeks have been especially memorable as we celebrated the successes of our graduating seniors and graduate students.
Last Friday, seniors attended the Senior Ball on campus. Underneath a large white tent, Pioneers showed off their dance moves and formal attire. I was pleased so many students sported bow-ties. Everyone looked grown up and happy. Seniors also spent time dancing and dining at the Family Dinner Dance the following evening.
Students celebrated their academic achievements at various receptions and hooding and pinning ceremonies throughout the weekend. These ceremonies mark the start of new journeys and careers. I enjoyed watching students, deans, professors and family members revel in the students’ accomplishments.
On Saturday we held our Commencement Mass in the Pitt Center. Families and students joined us as we celebrated victories and new beginnings. It was an honor having Bishop Frank Caggiano with us for this special occasion.
We held our graduate commencement Saturday and our undergraduate ceremonies on Sunday, both at the Webster Bank Arena. Both ceremonies were well attended and included inspirational speeches and words of wisdom from scholars, students and religious leaders. Both also included posthumous degrees for a student who had passed away. On Sunday, we presented the degree for Kaitlyn Doorhy, who was struck and killed by a car at the beginning of her junior year, to her parents and sister, Carly. Carly will be a member of the class of 2020 in the fall.
Students had smiles on their faces as they came forward to receive their diplomas—smiles that were also reflected on the faces of their families up in the stands. I was pleased that many of our undergraduates came to campus after the ceremony to enjoy refreshments and to take photos on the quad and in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. I am very proud of you all, and I wish you the best of luck. I look forward to having you back to share the great things I know you will accomplish.
This week, faculty attended the third annual Digital Pedagogy Summer Institute. The goal of the institute is to empower faculty and to enhance their teaching practices through effective integration of the digital environment in on-ground, blended and online courses. Kudos to our faculty for diving into this week-long institute to hone their digital skills.
Thank you to everyone who made last week a success. From the committee members who worked most of the semester to ensure smooth commencement ceremonies and everyone from student life who planned the Senior Week activities to the faculty and staff who turned out to process this weekend or to assist with the many tasks that needed to be taken care of—I want you to know that your efforts did not go unnoticed.
Congratulations to the SHU class of 2016!