J. Eustace Wolfington, Dr. Janice Gordon, Maestro Jonathan Sternberg, Board Chair Deb Takes, Vice Chair Tom Nerney, trustees, alumni, faculty, staff, families, friends.
Good morning and welcome to the 52nd Commencement Ceremony at Cabrini College. It is my honor to present the Cabrini College Class of 2012.
Graduates, today we celebrate your achievements. But like any achievement, it is not accomplished by one alone.
For many of you, the support of family was instrumental. So at this time, I ask the families of today’s graduates to please stand and be recognized!
We are also very fortunate to have in the Class of 2012 many alumni legacy students. These are students whose parents or grandparents, aunts or uncles, siblings or cousins have attended Cabrini, and who today witness yet another family member graduate. So I ask that alumni legacy students and their families please stand and be recognized!
We are also honored to have Cabrini’s distinguished faculty members here with us today. It is my privilege to recognize these men and women who dedicate themselves to providing an Education of the Heart through their teaching, scholarship, leadership, and mentoring. So I ask that faculty please stand and be recognized.
Class of 2012, your graduation has special significance for me, and all of you have a special place in my heart. Many of you began your journey at Cabrini College the very same time I began mine as President. Like many of you, I drove onto to Cabrini’s campus four years ago to embark on a new adventure and I was unsure of what to expect.
Though I knew instantly that this was where I belonged, like many of you, I found myself in unfamiliar surroundings at the College, and constantly meeting new people.
And like many of you, I knew that this College was going to challenge me to use all my talents, draw on all my experience and strength, and buckle down for some hard work.
Well, Class of 2012, congratulations, because here we are, four years later, on a campus that is now as familiar as home and surrounded by faces that have become old friends.
And most importantly, here you are, four years later, able to proudly say that you have met the challenges, overcame the obstacles, and stayed committed to your dreams. As such, you have proven to me, your professors, your family, the College, and to the world that you have hearts driven to succeed.
And Class of 2012, you have shown that you have heart. But that word—heart—it means something more at Cabrini College. The College’s namesake, Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, believed that the best education blends intellectual competence with moral development, and instills a special concern for those persons who are in need.
For Christ Jesus taught us that the two great commandments are to love our god with all our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. At Cabrini College, Christ’s great commandments are embodied in our Catholic identity and in a phrase that mother Cabrini believed captured exactly what a Christian education can and should be.
She called it an “Education of the Heart.” While an Education of the Heart is not easy to define and is embodied differently in each graduate, at its core it forms graduates who are equipped to excel professionally, while also conscious of a moral responsibility to neighbors, society, and the world.
And in providing an Education of the Heart, the College has endeavored to let you experience how to put this education into real-world practice. Graduates, when I think of all you have achieved here at Cabrini College, this is perhaps what I am most proud of: that while receiving an academically rigorous education, your hearts were touched, possibly even transformed.
And you went out into the community, into the thick of problems and issues that many people choose to ignore, and you used your academic and creative skills to make a part of this world just a little bit better, because justice matters!
You made your College experience not only about bettering yourselves, but you made it about bettering the world we all live in, because justice matters!
And that, graduates, is an Education of the Heart that I believe would make Mother Cabrini’s heart glow with joy. And your hearts too should glow with joy, for today you are taking a big step into a world that needs you. You are the hope of the future.
But like all big steps in life, this one, too, carries with it much responsibility. So in everything you do, remember that you represent not only yourself and your family, but also:
You represent them all. And if representing so many people seems like a daunting task, fear not, for you have been well-prepared. So as the College and your family send you out into the world to forge your own path, I ask only this:
If you are mindful of those simple things, Class of 2012, you will bring honor to your College, your families, and yourself. Congratulations, graduates. I am so very proud of you.
May God bless you in all that you do.
President Marie Angelella George Sunday, May 20, 2012