Graduates, today you join thousands of women and men—Cabrini alumni—who have received baccalaureate degrees from Cabrini College.
For more than 50 years, students just like you have assembled on this picturesque campus to complete their journey as students and begin a new journey as Cabrini College graduates.
College graduates and Cabrini alumni! Has a nice sound to it, doesn’t it?
Every graduating class has its unique imprint, as do you. Every graduating class has its own personality and what a great personality you have and what a significant imprint you have left.
Oftentimes, it is determined by the time in history, and your collective talents and experiences you brought to enrich this community.
I want to speak a bit about your unique imprint, and what is unique about this class, at this time in Cabrini’s history. You, Class of 2013, are the first class to have completed the Justice Matters core curriculum. This core curriculum is central to the Education of the Heart that you received.
Each one of you has completed this groundbreaking Justice Matters curriculum and whether you appreciated the experience or just merely tolerated it, the experience of this distinctively Catholic liberal arts core curriculum was nonetheless a big part of your journey at Cabrini.
While the College continues to receive national attention for this landmark curriculum, the Class of 2013 has left an important legacy.
Cabrini’s Justice Matters core curriculum remains true to the liberal arts tradition by providing a comprehensive, well-rounded education that fosters lifelong learning and exploration, while also remaining faithful to our Catholic identity that says faith and reason are mutually illuminating.
The faculty at Cabrini made a commitment to infuse their teaching with issues of justice that surround us locally, regionally, nationally, internationally.
Through Justice Matters, which reaches every student and that began with your class, the College is more demonstrably fulfilling its mission to provide an Education of the Heart through a dedication to academic excellence, leadership development and a commitment to social justice.
Undoubtedly, if you ask the Class of 2013 what was uniquely challenging about the Justice Matters curriculum, they will say three letters: E-C-G.
As the Class of 2013, you share a bond with one another forged during your experiences in the signature component of Cabrini’s curriculum: Engagement with the Common Good courses.
These courses, called ECGs for short, are experiential courses that are more than a mere exposure to service learning, but are a transformative educational tool to teach students how to identify a social problem, investigate its root causes, deliberate possible solutions and enact those solutions that will have a real, substantive outcome.
And, most importantly, the ECGs will help you to know yourself better and to move from a focus on the “I” to the “We.”
ECGs partner Cabrini College classes with community organizations and programs that are addressing a wide spectrum of social justice issues each and every day.
At Laurel House, students worked to end dating violence, while through the Inside/Outside Prison Program, students and prison inmates made the bold choice to take a Cabrini College class together.
ECG courses brought to life the annual Norristown Arts Hill Festival and work with the Youth Advisory Council allowed a deeper understanding of the foster youth system. ECGs instilled hope at the Community Homeless Outreach Center in Norristown and have taken the lead in engaged pedagogy through Reactions to the Past.
Even deeper partnerships were formed in your work with the Norristown School District, Catholic Relief Services, and the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, while other ECGs won awards for environmental stewardship of local watersheds.
The list goes on and on and on. While these ECGs are clearly focused on addressing injustice, they have also added to the rich tapestry of who you are, Class of 2013, and they will contribute to you living a fulfilled life. And that is my wish for you: to live a fulfilled life.
A student recently shared some thoughts with a faculty member on his ECG experience, saying, “My ECG courses and professors have given me the knowledge and desire to become a lifelong learner and advocate for issues that I believe in, and most importantly, the ability to think critically in order to tackle the many challenges that I may face in the future.”
Just as the faculty anticipated and now you, our students, have verified, these classes have real world applications that can be applied to whatever profession you choose.
They will also make you a better spouse, parent and citizen because these classes taught you what can’t be learned exclusively in a classroom. They taught you how to solve problems in the real world and how to account for unexpected variables that life tosses onto our well-planned paths.
By being the first entire class to complete Justice Matters, you did not merely travel a path, but you forged a path that thousands of future students will travel. You set precedents and defined the undefined. By so doing, you helped shaped the future of this College and the richness of our Education of the Heart.
Cabrini College has learned from you because at Cabrini, we are an inclusive community of lifelong learners. This curriculum has evolved as you have progressed through it, and what the faculty have learned from the Class of 2013 shaped what Justice Matters is today.
You have shaped what the faculty will carry forward into tomorrow.
As shepherds of Cabrini’s Education of the Heart, the faculty carry Justice Matters into tomorrow and continue their commitment to provide a transformational experience for all students. For this and for everything they do, I am both proud of and deeply grateful to our esteemed faculty.
Class of 2013, like you, more than 50 years of Cabrini graduates received an education of the heart. The lives, careers, and families of our alumni are proof that you are equipped to “Do Something Extraordinary.”
I am so proud of what you have accomplished and even prouder of who you are as persons. And please remember that as Cabrini Alumni, you are forever a part of the Cabrini College community.
On this Pentecost Sunday, may the Holy Spirit spark faith, hope, and love into your action each day and ignite your lives with wonder and awe.
Congratulations, Class of 2013. Your future awaits you, and it will be extraordinary.