Monday, May 3, 2010

Ending spring on a great note

This weekend we proudly welcome 1,197 new members to our alumni family in two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 8, in our Academic Quadrangle. As is our custom, our graduate commencement will be held the evening before, Friday, May 7, in Mitrani Hall where seven graduates will receive doctor of audiology degrees and 173 will receive master’s degrees.

It’s not only a great celebration of the new graduates’ academic accomplishments, but a wonderful time to welcome to campus their friends and family, many of whom are BU alums.

Our undergraduate ceremonies will be addressed by two prominent Pennsylvania legislators – U.S. Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski in the morning and state Senator John R. Gordner in the afternoon. I’m looking forward to hearing the advice these respected, veteran politicians offer to our newly minted graduates as they begin their journey into an increasingly complex global environment.

The commencement ceremonies officially conclude another fast-paced, productive semester. While several building projects were under way and our strategic planning process continued moving forward, higher education stayed on track with students raising the bar for next semester with many great achievements and recognitions.

This spring we saw several student organizations excel at regional, state and national competitions, including the Forensics (speech and debate) Team and Society for Advancement of Management. The semester began with the successful launch of a campus-wide sustainability initiative, and more than 450 students welcomed spring with a local community service project, The Big Event. Numerous students earned scholarships, international fellowships and awards for their outstanding work in the classroom.

On Saturday, I watched our softball team clinch the PSAC championship by defeating California (Pa.) 7 to 5. What a great way for beloved coach Jan Hutchinson to end her final regular softball season. Now she and the young women athletes will pursue that elusive national championship.

We’ll soon get some relief from the end-of-the-semester rush, knowing summer and its well-earned break is on the horizon. However, the vacation will be brief. In just a few weeks, students will be on campus for the first summer school classes, new students and their parents will attend orientation and the cycle will begin anew.

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