[“Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar] [“Academic Procession”
by Clifton Williams] [“Celebration March” by Robert Cotter] [“Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar] [“Academic Procession”
by Clifton Williams] [“Celebration March” by Robert Cotter] [“Pomp and Circumstance” by Edward Elgar] – [Kyle] Good afternoon. – [Man] Good afternoon. [audience cheers]
– Whoo. Welcome to the 2019 Aquinas
College commencement ceremony, honoring our 77th graduating class. I am Dr. Kyle Hull, assistant
professor of communication, and today, as chairperson
of the Faculty Assembly, it is my honor to serve as
your master of ceremonies. So to begin the celebration,
I invite to the stage Theresa Redmond, from the Class of 2019, to lead us in the singing
of our national anthem. The music will be provided
by Dr. Paul Brewer and the Aquinas College Wind Ensemble. So remain risen. [“The Star Spangled Banner”] ♪ Twilight’s last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O’er the ramparts we watched ♪ ♪ Were so gallantly streaming ♪ ♪ And the rockets’ red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night ♪ ♪ That our flag was still there ♪ ♪ Oh say, does that
star-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O’er the land of the free ♪ ♪ And the home of the brave ♪ [audience applause] – You may be seated. Thank you Theresa, Dr.
Brewer, and the Wind Ensemble. Now, it is our honor and my
privilege to invite forward the Most Reverend David Walkowiak, bishop of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, who will offer today’s invocation. – In the name of the Father and
the Son and the Holy Spirit. – [Audience] Amen. – Gracious God, in your
divine wisdom and plan, you have allowed our
graduates to reach this day, surrounded by those they love, who have supported them
throughout their journey. We ask your blessings upon
their families and friends, upon their professors, advisors, and other members of
the Aquinas community, whose enthusiasm for
learning and quest for truth have inspired today’s graduates and given them confidence and hope. We pause in prayer to place before you all that the past four
years have brought to them. May they gather together
what they have learned, how they have grown in tasks completed and in challenges met, in the
unexpected and unforeseen, in times of creative energy,
in joy and in disappointment, in changed relationships, and
now give these experiences over to your care and safekeeping. Guide our graduates as they continue to discern your call for them, and assist them as they
strive to answer that call. Help them to live lives of abundant faith, steadfast hope, and selfless love. Help them to be mindful
of those most in need, those burdened by poverty,
injustice, and oppression. Help them live lives of compassion, and to see the face of Christ your son in those they meet and serve. We ask your blessing,
Lord, on all that will be and come to them in the days ahead. Inspire them to make you known, loved, and served in this our world. We make our prayer
through Christ our Lord, Amen.
– Amen. – In the name of the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit. – Thank you so much, Bishop Walkowiak. For all of you, this has been a journey full of excitement,
challenges, and victories. And while your journey
at Aquinas may be ending, a new journey awaits you. On behalf of the faculty and staff, I offer you my sincerest congratulations. This commencement is
a chance for all of us to celebrate you and your achievements. So to begin the formal activities of this year’s commencement,
including the awarding of an honorary degree, and
the commencement address, it is my pleasure to introduce
President Kevin Quinn. President Quinn, the faculty, and staff have worked side by side
to continue to focus on the pillars of the college, strengthen the academic
reputation of Aquinas, and enhance the college’s legacy. And if you’ve had the
pleasure of working with him, you already know that
he does all this with great intelligence, integrity, and definitely a sense of humor. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the eighth
president of Aquinas College, Dr. Kevin Quinn.
[audience applause] – Thank you. Thank you, Dr. Hull, for
those very, very kind words. Welcome! It is my honor to be here today, with parents, grandparents,
spouses, family, friends, alumni, and other
supporters of the college. I also want to acknowledge
the friends and family of our graduates who are
watching the ceremony from our alternative viewing areas, in Wege and Kretchmar. [audience laughs] [laughs] Students, why don’t
you wave to your families? There you go, they follow
directions wonderfully. [all laugh] Thank you. Your support is a big
part of why we’re able to celebrate this special
occasion as a community. Let us also thank the Dominican
Sisters of Grand Rapids, who are not only our founders,
but more often than not, are a centering force for
the work that we do here. [audience applause] Days like this are memorable
for so many reasons. You may be feeling relief that you made it through the last week of finals, or think you made it through
the last week of finals. [all laugh] Or sheer joy knowing that you don’t have to count on rubbing the bible at the statue of St. Thomas to pass an exam. [audience laughs] How many have done that,
at some point or another? There we go. You might be feeling
nostalgic about the first time you grabbed a cup of coffee at The Moose. Or wistful about the last
time you had practice on the field, or performed onstage. There might be some
sadness that you no longer have access to the
all-you-can-eat dessert at Wege. Or trepidation about the uncertainty of the next phase of your journey. But as you receive your diploma, I hope that you feel an overwhelming sense of pride and
accomplishment in this moment, and I hope that you
realize, that as a graduate of Aquinas college, you’re
going into the world as a Saint, armed with all the knowledge, experience, and integrity that sets Aquinas
grads apart from all others. As you roam this beautiful campus with your friends and family today, take time to preserve
these places in your mind. And don’t forget to come back and visit, so that you can share in the growth of this great institution. Many of you were able to take exams in the newly-opened Sister
Mary Aquinas Weber, OP wing of the science building. And I hope that you were inspired
by that incredible space. I hope you can come back next year to see the completed renovation of the rest of the building
and its surrounded areas. Along with our faculty and staff, it’s the students that bring those spaces and academic programs to life. As graduates, you will
translate what you learn here into solutions for the community, for our community and the world. As alumni, you will take
on new responsibility with the college, to carry the flag of Aquinas College wherever you go. So carry Aquinas in your
hearts, in your minds. Go out and change the world. Congratulations to all. [audience applause] Before I move on, I’d like to give a special shout-out to the AQ
Saints men’s lacrosse team. [audience cheers]
Yeah. Who made it to their
first NAIA men’s lacrosse National Invitational Championship game, which will be played
here, we are the host, on the AQ athletic field
at four o’clock today. That was not planned, but
hey, we’re happy about it. [all laugh] So if you see any of our graduates that look like they’re
carrying big sticks, running out of here, wish
them luck and go Saints. [audience cheers] There’s some special guests here today I’d like to recognize. First, I’d like to recognize the Aquinas College Board of Trustees. This is a group of dedicated individuals who care deeply for this college, and give generously of
their time and talents to govern and provide
direction for our work. Would our board chair, Mr. Matt Wey, and our current trustees, please stand? [audience applause] I want to personally say thank you to all of those outstanding individuals for what they do for the college, and I can say personally,
it is an absolute joy to work with such a group. Today I would like to
make a special recognition of a special guest. I ask William A. Renis to stand. Shortly after completing his coursework in December of 1951, Mr.
Renis, a history major, was drafted into the
Army, private first class, and served his country as a
counter-intelligence agent during the Korean War. At that time, Mr. Renis had earned his Bachelor of Arts degree,
and had been accepted to the law school at the
University of Michigan, but he was unable to
attend his Aquinas College commencement ceremony, because he had to immediately report to military training. It is my privilege to
honor Mr. Renis at today’s commencement ceremony, a
graduation nearly 70 years, 70 years in the making. [audience cheers] We finally found that last
final exam, you’re good. [audience laughs] Mr. Renis is here today
with his wife, Leigh Renis, his daughter and son-in-law Therese Renis and Thomas Killeen, his son, Joe Renis, and his granddaughter Nicole Killeen. Nicole is graduating today, – [Audience] Ah. [audience applauds] – with a Bachelor of Science
degree in the dual majors of music and business,
with a minor in German. It is fitting that we
honor both grandfather and granddaughter on this special day. [audience cheers] – At this time, I would
like to call forward Aquinas College executive vice president, provost, and dean of
faculty, Dr. Stephen Barrows, who will present the
newly-designated faculty emeriti. [audience applause] – Thank you Dr. Hull. A significant honor bestowed
upon a faculty member is the granting of emeritus status. The scholar Eugen Ehrlich
explains that the word emeritus is rooted in military tradition, and conveys that a soldier
has served honorably. At Aquinas College, the
emeritus/emerita status is a recognition given to
full-time faculty upon retirement. But this honor is not granted
to every faculty member. It must be earned. Specifically, a retiring tenured professor must have exhibited distinguished service as a member of the faculty, and must have served full-time at Aquinas College for a minimum of 10 years. On behalf of President Quinn
and the Board of Trustees, it is my honor today to call forward four such distinguished faculty members, to receive a plaque
recognizing their service and their status as faculty
emeritus or emerita. Dr. Paul Brewer, associate
professor emeritus of music, who joined Aquinas in 1999. [audience cheers] Ms. Vicki McMillan, associate
professor emerita of English, who joined Aquinas in 1996. [audience cheers] [audience applause] Mr. Stephen Schousen,
professor emeritus of art, who joined Aquinas in 1982. [audience cheers] [Stephen laughs] [audience applauds] Ms. Cindy VanGelderen,
associate professor emerita of accounting, who joined Aquinas in 1980. [audience applauds] Congratulations and thank you for your years of outstanding service. [audience applauds] – Yes, congratulations indeed. And now I would like to call forward President Quinn, to present
the honorary degree. – Thank you, congratulations
to all of you. It is now my privilege, on
behalf of our Board of Trustees, to bestow an honorary doctoral degree on someone who has been a
longtime friend of the college. I now ask Mark A. Murray to come forward. Mark Murray is the vice
chairman of Meijer Incorporated, where he also previously served as the retailer’s CEO and president. Mark has been a leader in higher education in the state for many years. He was the third president of
Grand Valley State University, notice the blue, [laughs]
and under his tenure, the institution saw the student body grow to 22,000 students. He served as the vice
president for finance and administration at
Michigan State University, responsible for non-academic
matters at that university, including finance, housing, facilities, security, and athletics. A lifelong Michigan resident,
Mark spent many years in public service with the
Michigan state government. He held various leadership positions, including state treasurer
and state budget director, with the responsibility
for the formulation and administration of budgets
for all state agencies. He received his master’s degree in labor and industrial relations, and his bachelor’s degree in economics, both from Michigan State University. The value Mark has placed
on the growth of education, the economy, and community
in the state of Michigan has inspired his many,
many years of service. Mark has served on many
community boards over the years, including Detroit Public Schools, Spectrum Health, Business
Leaders for Michigan, and the Michigan State
Chamber of Commerce. Mark and his wife, Elizabeth,
have three grown children, and are now four years into a new kind of public service role, grandparents. [audience laughs] In recognition of his
commitments to Aquinas College, and his distinguished contributions in the humanities and social service, Aquinas College confers
upon Mark A. Murray an honorary Doctor of
Humane Letters degree. [audience applause] Congratulations, congratulations. – Well-deserved. Please join me in
welcoming Mr. Mark Murray. Step right up.
[all laugh] [audience applauds] – Well thank you, this is quite an honor, and I appreciate the chance
to be with all of you today. By my calculation, for most
of you as students here now, about a quarter of the way through the great personal adventure
that your life will be. You are gathered here, so
these are different adventures, you’re gathered here today because this is what holds you in common. And it’s a wonderful day, and you did it. You earned this degree,
but what I hope you know, and I think you will learn
on the rest of your journey, if you don’t already know it,
you never do anything alone. And so to have all the family and friends and support and networks here with you, is a great way to remind us
that what we can accomplish, we have responsibility
for, we do a lot of work, but we do it all with others. This diploma has great meaning. You have a particular content knowledge, you know something about accounting, environmental studies, education, music, whatever field you studied. You also have now demonstrated
that you are a completer. When you make a
commitment, you fulfill it. When you start something, you finish it. You’ve also demonstrated that
you can continue to learn. And all three of those aspects are really important parts of your degree. The fact that you have
good base knowledge, you can continue to learn, and when you make a commitment, you live up to it. Now I will do what a commencement speaker is supposed to do, which is
give you a little thought and advice and counsel for these, the remaining three
quarters of your adventure. And let me begin it by
offering a suggestion about a disposition, a way of coming at the things that are before you, in your family, in your
community, in your employment. And that is a sense of wonder. Peter Kreeft, the philosopher, distinguishes three kinds of wonder. The first one is when
we run into something we’ve never experienced before. It’s kind of surprising, it’s wonderful. The second kind of wonder is that kind of, that curiosity, that deep study. How does this work? How did this wonderful, more this really pernicious system come to be? What are the forces? What’s going on here? This can be in health,
it can be in education, it can be in any field. And the last form of
wonder is when you now know something about this, you step back and experience, in some sense, the awe. The glory and the complexity
of what is around. All three aspects of that wonder are important as you engage
whatever is before you. Now in the next few years, many of you will be starting a new
career of some kind, maybe continued education,
maybe, in some form or fashion. Maybe starting a family,
something new on the horizon. In the next two or three years, you’re going to need
to keep your head down. You’re going to need to focus. Bring that sense of
resolution, commitment, because it takes some
time to really master, if you’re going to be a school teacher, it takes some time to
really know how to elicit a sense of joy in learning
among young people. Whatever the field may be. Keep your head down,
work hard, stay focused. But bring your head up periodically, because if you don’t look
around and see the context, you’ll miss some of the
pleasure, the wonder, but you’ll also not be
able to be as helpful and as useful as you might otherwise be. So keep a sense of wonder in what you do even in those early years
of all that head-down work that is before you. The second suggestion
I’m going to make is, I will call them navigational aids. So sort of GPS. Four different things that will help you in whatever situation
you’re in to navigate. The first one is one I
hope you’re familiar with, which is a sense of and
a commitment to justice. I’m sure you’ve studied
it, I hope some of you have had projects where
you’ve worked on it. Some of you will be in careers where the fundamental purpose
of the organization is to deal with injustices. But I am thinking about all of us, in whatever setting we’re in, there’s a lot of sort
of petty lying going on, there’s a fair amount
of cheating going on. Lies and injustice. We have a responsibility in ourselves to be people of justice,
to be true and accurate in what we do, fair to
all those we’re around. It’s very important, you
can’t address everything, but you can address some things. It was about 30 years ago, I was asked in one of those state agencies to go into a new agency and begin supervising people. I knew a few of them,
but they were all older, they were more established,
and pretty highly respected. And within a matter of a few weeks, in some casual moment in the hallways, somebody unloaded a
really unfortunate joke with some sexual overtone to it. It was inappropriate in a workplace, it was inappropriate anywhere. And I’m the new boss. So that day, privately,
I met with that person, and I said this simply is unacceptable, we’re not going to do this. It’s a small act of injustice, a small effort to correct
an act of injustice, turns out it was the right thing to do, but turns out it was actually useful, because it also secured my
leadership with that group. Set a good tone as we went forward. It wasn’t about trying
to do any chest thumping, but it was something I
felt like I needed to do. You will have situations
that are within your sphere to confront the wrong and the injustice, and to do something about it. They’re coming. Now I was a bit nervous about that. I’m a new guy here, I’m
younger, I’m not as established. So it took a little bit of courage. And that’s the second GPS
guidance I’ll give you. Have some courage. Not reckless, you don’t have
to step into everything. But if you don’t step into anything, you’re not doing what you need to do. This can be an injustice,
like we just talked about, it can also be, your
organization may be launching some new product or service,
that takes some courage. It’s a risk-taking endeavor. Some people like to critique others, like to offer commentary about what all is wrong with the world, but don’t necessarily step up themselves. Be one of those who
steps up for the change, for the improvement. That courage can also be, fortitude, can be a willingness not to act. The mob can be pretty enticing sometimes. There’s a lot of peer pressure, there’s a lot of, “we need to do this.” And sometimes the most important action is no action at all. You stand firm in what you know is right. Now in all these situations, you need to bring good judgment. This’ll be my third navigational aid. This involves a real grounding
in what’s actually going on. Who are the people, what’s the context? Jay Richards down at the Acton Institute calls it prudence, and says, “Seeing reality as it
is, acting accordingly, “conforming your mind and
your actions to reality.” We all have aspirations, it’s important to have aspirations. But we have to deal with what we have and do what’s right in that setting. Clay Christensen at Harvard, his mantra, listen, listen, listen,
just keep listening. That’s part of getting good
judgment, listening to others. I was originally hired
in the state government because I could do some
econometric modeling. And I did it well, and did it fine, earned the pay they were giving me. Ultimately, I was asked to take on broader and other responsibilities,
and as I look back, I believe it’s because I,
as a natural disposition, I’m always learning, always synthesizing, always trying to see how
we can do something better, and that business of
bringing good judgment turns out to have been,
again, useful in my career. It was something I was
going to do in any case. The final navigation aid I’ll offer you, to work through the situations you’re in, is actually the opposite
of what you may have heard. One of the things I hear these
days is follow your passion. Sometimes when you’re out
interviewing for a job, somebody’s going to ask
you, “what’s your passion?” My counsel to you is
dial down your passions. Temper your passions,
restrain your passions. At some degree, this agitation we’ve got going on in the current environment, we got a little too much passion going on. Temper it. At work, a lot of things
present themselves as urgent that aren’t actually urgent. It’s part of this technology of texting and Tweets and all that,
it, sort of pretend urgency. One of the common things
I’ll say in settings in a work situation is
let’s just step back, let’s take a deep breath,
let’s count to 10. I mean it would be a beautiful thing if you couldn’t answer a text
message for about 10 minutes. If you couldn’t do anything with a Tweet for about 10 minutes. The whole atmosphere of our country and our community and our families and our common life would
be a little bit better if we could all slow down. Now, that technology’s not coming. We know that. But you can make that decision. You will be very, very grateful when you sleep on that email
you were about to send. And you think about it a little bit, and you take the language and
you pull it down a little bit. Still have to be honest,
still have to be direct, but you don’t have to be abrasive. So those are basic habits. And some circles, they get called virtues. They’re courage, temperance,
fortitude, and prudence. And they really will help you as you address the situations you’re in. They’ve been taught
for thousands of years. They were true a century
ago, they’re true last week, they’re true today,
they’ll be true next week, they’ll be true for the remaining portions of your adventure. Let me offer one final, when
we’ll go back to an orientation. Open up in wonder,
problem-solving, thinking, awesome what we see, navigate
with a sense of courage and justice, temperance,
prudence, good judgment, and this last one I’ll say is gratitude. Today is a great day to be grateful. All the elementary school teachers, the parents, the friends,
the faculty here, just so many people have
helped you on your way. I had an older cousin, Mary B. Martin. I greatly admired her, she
was a physical therapist by training, she was trainer
for the Canadian Olympic Team, worked in Nepal for many
years, with very poor people, helping build up health care
situations, supports there. Hiked the Pacific Crest
Trail in North America. Cancer visited her a number of years ago, and she ultimately died of cancer, but she would send out
notes to family and friends, summarizing where she was at that point, and one of the things
that was a common string, she’d talk about how grateful
she was somebody called. How grateful she was
somebody had sent flowers. How grateful she was for her caregivers. They kept trying to mix
the chemical cocktails, or whatever the treatment regimes were, she was very grateful, to the degree that she thought some of us
reading it were a little slow, she would just get very
pointed occasionally, and say, “You know, you can’t be grateful “and unhappy at the same time.” That seared into my mind
those many years ago, in part because it was
a pretty emotional time, as we were watching her succumb
to cancer, but it’s true. You can’t be grateful and
unhappy at the same time. Now grateful people still have hardships. Grateful people still have challenges. But my life experiences tell me many, many unhappy people
have a gratitude deficit. Don’t be them. Be a person of gratitude. So that was my counsel, open and wonder, the virtues, courage, justice,
temperance, fortitude, be grateful in all cases,
and I’ll just close by saying it’s a particular pleasure to be here. I get a chance to speak with groups two or three times a year. Sometimes they’re business groups, sometimes they’re education, sometimes in areas in the Catholic Church. And this range of things
I’ve shared with you, I commonly share. I believe these very firmly. They’re very important for
approaching pretty much anything. But it’s particularly a pleasure to say it here today at Aquinas College. Albert the Great, Albertus Magnus, that’s who your science
hall is named after, Albert the Great, was
the epitome of wonder. He saw the created universe, and was spectacularly curious about this. That’s why it’s a science hall. He was a leading scientist of his age. Now one of the great things about science is we keep learning. So some of the things that he posited in his scientific method, turn out now to have been overturned,
we know more things. But Albert the Great
was a great scientist. Now it also turns out
that as he saw the glories of creation and stepped
back in awe about creation, he focused on the creator, and so he was also a great theologian. He’s a doctor of the Church. He united as well as anyone ever has, the reality that the truth is found both in faith and in
reason, and science is a partner with faith,
not an enemy of faith. Albert was Aquinas’s teacher. He was also his defender. Aquinas died somewhat young,
he was pretty controversial, very prominent thinker, and in Paris, Albert had to return to
defend Aquinas’s teachings. There’s a portrait of Albert
the Great over at Holmdene, it has scientific
instruments in the painting, but it also has Albert holding
the writings of Aquinas. He’s there to defend them. What Aquinas learned in
his pursuit of truth, anywhere, and he learned from Albert, was to go ahead and learn from the great Arab and Muslim thinkers of the time, and they brought him back
into the Greek thinkers. And brought some of
those great traditional bits of wisdom forward back into what is we call the
Western way of thinking. Aristotle most important. Aristotle taught justice, temperance, fortitude, and prudence. And of course, Aquinas also
found them in scripture. So to be here today, to talk about wonder, and to talk about virtue,
at Aquinas College, with your Albert the Great Hall, is particularly a pleasure and an honor. So you’ve got three quarters
of your journey yet ahead. I hope something that I’ve shared with you will turn out to be useful. I consider these to be guaranteed. I guarantee you that if you
are a person of justice, if you act with courage, if
you act with good judgment, if you bring a sense of wonder, I guarantee you this will make your future better for you, better for your families, better for your
communities, better for all. And a guarantee is only as
good as it’s backed up, right? So here’s the deal. Over the next couple years,
if you make these real habits, real orientations, something
you’re committed to, and it turns out not
only are they not useful, they’re actually harmful,
send me a letter. Explain it all to me, and you will get, from my money, a Meijer gift card. [audience laughs] Thank you, God bless you. [audience applauds] – Thank you very much, Mr. Murray. I know we can all take things away from what your messages were today. So now we’re going to move on
to the highlight of the day, the conferring of degrees. Before we get started, a
note about photography. I know that space in here is limited, but if you wish to take photographs, please do so from your seats. At this time, I would like to call forward President Quinn and Provost Barrows, who will present the candidates
for degrees in course. – Thank you Dr. Hull. Before the formal
conferring of the degrees, I would like to take the
opportunity to congratulate the 39 graduates of the
University of Detroit Mercy nursing program, who completed
their undergraduate work here at Aquinas, and who
have been valued members of our Aquinas student body. [audience applause] They were honored during
a transition ceremony, which took place earlier
this month on our campus. They will receive their diplomas at their commencement
ceremony today, in Detroit. Each candidate, for either a master’s or bachelor’s degree, is wearing a hood representing his or her degree. To help you understand
the academic regalia, I refer you to page three of
your commencement program. Some graduates have distinguished their academic achievements with honors. Summa Cum Laude, with highest honors, is awarded to those
students who have earned a 3.9 or higher grade point average. Magna Cum Laude, with high honors, acknowledges the achievement of a 3.7 to 3.9 grade point average. And Cum Laude, with honors,
is awarded to those students who have attained a 3.5 to
3.7 grade point average. Please note, the traditional
turning of the tassel is done as a group at the
conclusion of the ceremony. Please hold your applause until this time. Your tassel should now
be on the right side of your mortar board. The usher at the end of your row will direct you when to stand
and begin moving forward. President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I’m honored to present the candidates for the degree of Master of Management. – [Gretchen] Brenda Bennett. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Scott Boyle. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Kelli Donigan. Stephanie Ann Fisher. Morgan Marie Hoekstra. Shannon Hooper. [audience members applaud] Tori Paul. Gregory Richardson II. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Elizabeth
Marie-Karczag Selleck. [audience member cheers] [audience laughs] – [Audience Member] Go Maryland! – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidates for the degree of Master
in the Art of Teaching. – [Gretchen] Sarah Crowe Andrasko. Lindsay Cherry. [audience members cheer] – [Gretchen] Elizabeth Cruz. Brittany Gernhard. Sarah Beth Hartuniewicz. [audience members cheer] Kiersten Hudson. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Christina Otten. Vanessa Richard. Kristen Timmons. Marcie Graham VanDuinen. Mary Marie Voogd. – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidate for the degree of Master of Education. – [Gretchen] Kseniya Themm. – Congratulations.
[audience member cheers] – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidates for the degree of Master
of Arts in Counseling. – [Gretchen] Benjamin James Balke. [audience members cheer] Marilyn Shantey Buford.
[audience member cheers] – Congratulations.
– Thank you so much. – [Gretchen] Sarah Loraine Hudson Cushion. [audience members cheer] – [Audience Member] Go Sarah! – [Gretchen] Emily Raelyn Hillman. – Congratulations. – [Gretchen] Katherine Jack. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Kristin Lothschutz. – Congratulations, Kristin.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Cindy Joy Steenstra. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] CeJay Wolbers. – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts. – [Gretchen] Morgan Abate. [audience members cheer] Michael Theodore Albert. [audience members cheer] Hailey Schafer Arbaugh. Adrian Atwater. [audience members clap] Kaelyn Benzin. – [Audience Member] Yeah, Kaelyn! [audience members cheer] – [Gretchen] Victoria Marie Bernhardt. [audience members cheer] Courtney Ann Berns. [audience member cheers] Kaitlin Bird, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Ashley Bolek. [audience members cheer] Emma Josephine Booth. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Nora Botello-Arteaga. [audience members cheer] – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Hannah
Rose Brefeld, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Haley Brink, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Collin Brian Brooks. – Congratulations.
– Yes sir. – [Gretchen] Isabella
Buck, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Laura Elizabeth Burns. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Joseph Thomas Campbell. [audience member cheers] – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Laura Lorraine
Cason, Magna Cum Laude. – Congratulations.
– Go Laura! – [Gretchen] Jonah Chickering. Katelyn Coffey, Magna Cum Laude. [audience member cheers] September Cook, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] – [Audience Member] September! – [Gretchen] Don’Nae Eressa Crawford. – [Audience Member] Way to go, Don’Nae! – [Gretchen] Abigail
Brianna Cummings, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kathryn Cummings, Magna Cum Laude. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Hana Davis, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] America Jane Dunmire DeGraw. – [Audience Member] America! – [Gretchen] Sarah Michelle
Dershem, Summa Cum Laude. Martina Devetak. [audience members cheer] Gates Domeier, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Marissa Ann Ebels. [audience members clap] Spencer Vitaliy Elliot. [audience members cheer] Kirsten Fedorowicz, Summa Cum Laude. – Congratulations, I hope
she got your name right. [Kirsten laughs] – [Gretchen] Brock Gabbert, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Valentaina Santiago
Garcia, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members clap] Jack Lewis Garthe. [audience members cheer] Lauren Gerich, Cum Laude. Morgan Giddings, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Jonathan Warner Gladding, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kelly Grant, Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] Kelly! – [Gretchen] Sierra Hawley, Cum Laude. [audience member claps] Micaela Joy Hazen, Magna Cum Laude. Lauren Heyboer, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kyle Hibbard. – Congratulations. – [Gretchen] Evan Wade Hile, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] James Robert Huth, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Zachary Thomas Isaacs, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Nicole Jarvis, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Hannah Joy Kidder, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Tanner Edward Kosten. [audience members cheer] Rebecca Lynne Kurkowski. [audience member cheers] Karissa Lantz. [audience member cheers] Ellen Leegwater, Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] I love you Ellen! [audience laughs] – [Gretchen] Jason Lenon. [audience members cheer] Madeleine Lince, Summa Cum Laude. [audience member cheers] Victoria Paige Mashour, Magna Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] Whoo, Tori! – [Gretchen] Kayelin Rose Mazur. [audience members cheer] Camille Means. Briana Meeker. – Congratulations. – [Gretchen] Joshua Mick. – [Audience Member] Get it, Josh. – [Gretchen] Esme Olga Misiak. – Congratulations. – [Gretchen] Skye Elizabeth Morgan. [audience members cheer] Emily Ruth Mulder. Annie Rae Newton, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kathleen Virginia O’Neil, Magna Cum Laude. Mariah Otolski, Summa Cum Laude. Sydney Amelia Palmer, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Danata Paulino, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] John Piatek, III, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kaitlyn Renee Pina. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Isabelle Piotrowski. [audience members cheer] Thomas Gregory Piserchia. [audience member cheers] Dawn Price, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Theresa Renee Redmond, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members clap] Alexandria Rios, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Nicole Marie Roberts, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Annmarie Elizabeth Roboski. [audience members cheer] Amanda Rosol. Brynn Camille Schwab, Magna Cum Laude. Matthew K.C. Selmon, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Catherine Siena Shaw, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Maria Silguero-Mavis,
– Go Maria! – [Gretchen] Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] Maria! Love you Maria! – [Gretchen] Jacqueline
Skorka, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Austin Stanage. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Gretchen] Sarah Rose
Stayman, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Anna Tehennepe, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Rowan Storm Therrien, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Trevor Thiebaut. – Congratulations Trevor.
– Thank you. [audience member cheers] – [Gretchen] Sarah Elizabeth
Toppen, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Rose Treutle. [audience members cheer] Hemi Cheyenne Truax. – [Audience Member] Hemi! – [Gretchen] Rachel Marie Turner. [audience members cheer] Donna Rae Valente, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Gabrielle VandenBerg, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Makenna VanDyne, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Joseph Anthony Volpe, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Julia Wink. [audience members cheer] Gabrielle Rain Zeinstra, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] – President Quinn. – [Gretchen] Do anything? – Upon the recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science. [audience applause] – [Gretchen] Jessica
Zuchowski, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] – [Anthony] Autumn
Ackerson, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kelli Hope Adrian, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] – Congratulations.
– Thank you so much. – [Anthony] Jordan Axel Antongiorgi. [audience members cheer] Joshua Atherton. [audience members cheer] Emily Ann Biermacher, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Olivia Marie Biermacher, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kassidy Denise Boldt, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer]
– Thank you. – [Anthony] Amore Brown. [audience members cheer] Clover Rae Brown, Cum Laude. [audience member claps] Breanna Marie Butgereit. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Anthony] Avery Cheap, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Joseph Ciaravino. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. [audience members cheer] – [Anthony] Eric Cichon. Mark Alexander Cistaro, III. [audience members cheer] Hannah Renee Clark. – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – [Anthony] Stephanie Harwick Clark. [audience members cheer] – [Audience Member] Happy birthday! – [Anthony] Campbell Crosby. – Thank you. – [Anthony] Brian Douglas Daller. – [Audience Member] Attaboy! – [Anthony] Brian Delamarter, Cum Laude. [audience member whistles] Shelby Erin Dewey, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Evan Keith Dunklee. [audience members cheer] Holly Ensley. [audience members cheer] Analis Floyd. [audience members cheer] Noelle Gauss, Cum Laude. [audience member cheers] Michael Gehan. [audience members cheer] Adam Brent Gizowski. [audience members cheer] Noah Gloe, Magna Cum Laude. [audience member claps] Kaitlin Elizabeth Grigg, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kelly Victoria Gullen. Brody David Heitzman. [audience members cheer] Demetris Andrew Hernandez. [audience members cheer] Samuel Edward Houser. [audience members cheer] Melissa Jakupovic, Cum Laude. Samantha Johns. – [Audience Member] Go Sam! [audience members cheer] Emily Kimball, Cum Laude. [audience member cheers] Malynne Christine Klawiter. [audience members cheer] Emily Rose Koester, Cum Laude. Sofia Lesica, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Megan Lipka. [audience members cheer] Micki Lyn Martin. [audience members cheer] Martha Mata Carupe, Magna Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] That’s
my daughter right there. – [Anthony] Ayaka
Matsuda, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Hannah Victoria Millard, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Alexis Nicole Miller, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Yana Noel Muezenmeyer, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Jenna Elizabeth Murphy-Gast, Cum Laude. [audience member cheers] Je’Mauree Antianya Neal. – Hey baby!
[audience members cheer] – Kenny Nguyen, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members clap] Nathan Robert Orlikowski. [audience members cheer] Lauren Parker. [audience members cheer] Trisha Lynn Phillips. [audience members cheer] Ivan Plews. [audience members cheer] Ericka Prichard. Francesca Prina, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Marlin Dean Raymond, III. [audience members cheer] Sarah Christine Ress, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members clap] Sarah Richards. [audience members cheer] Sean Ritsema, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Charles Rollins, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kilian Salgado Pasantes, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kathryn Shaffer, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] April Lynn Shirey, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Olivia Claire Smith, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Tristen Spencer, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Brianna Spica. – [Audience Member] Bree. – [Anthony] Ricky Stiles. – [Audience Member] Go Ricky. – [Anthony] Benjamin Griffin Sweedyk. [audience members cheer] Avery Marie Tafelsky. [audience members cheer] Fiona Madalena Theodoroff. [audience members cheer] Jack Matthew Trimble. Emma Urbanski, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Dana VanHuis, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Megan Laurel Verburg, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Lauren Marie Washburn. [audience members cheer] Jared Weimer. – [Audience Member] Jared! – [Anthony] Taylor White. [audience members cheer] Tyra Nicole Williams. [audience members cheer] Alyssa Marie Willson, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Melissa Winchester, Cum Laude. Melissa Anne Zeffero. – Thank you.
– Yeah, baby! – [Anthony] Stephanie Zimmerman. – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor
of Arts in General Education. – [Anthony] Emma Dalrymple. [audience member cheers] Robert Deiz. [audience members cheer] Madison K. Hoeft, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members clap] Kyleigh Ann Jacobs. [audience members cheer] Jarrod Richard Tuinstra. [audience members cheer] – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor
of Professional Accountancy. – [Anthony] Kaylyn Chandonnet. [audience members cheer] Stephen Paul Pfahler, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Karlee Robinson, Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] She’s my friend! – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of
Science in Athletic Training. – [Anthony] Nathan Richard
Darcy, Magna Cum Laude. – Appreciate it, thank you.
[audience members cheer] – [Anthony] Alexander
Hoop, Magna Cum Laude. – [Audience Members] Yeah, Lil Hoop. – [Anthony] Rachel Hunt. [audience members cheer] Amy Lorenz, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Allyson Marvel, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Lisa Metzger, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Madisen Rye. [audience members cheer] – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the
candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science in
Business Administration. [audience members cheer] – [Anthony] John Martin Agar. [audience cheers] – By way of special recognition, I would like to acknowledge
the support of the entire Agar family in Johnny’s
journey through Aquinas, especially his sister
Annie, who gave up attending her own commencement two weeks go, so that she could help
Johnny achieve his dreams in an IRONMAN Triathlon in Texas. Annie Agar, congratulations
on your graduation. [audience applauds] – [Anthony] Alexis Justine Benner. [audience members cheer] Brandon Beukema. [audience members cheer] Devin Boxey. [audience members cheer] Bradley John Buurstra, Cum Laude. – Congratulations. – [Anthony] Octavian Condet. [audience members cheer] Nicholas Correia. [audience members cheer] – Congratulations.
– Thanks. – [Anthony] Maxwell Cothern. – Congratulations.
– Thank you, appreciate it. – [Anthony] Kristin Danielson, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Frank DeVos, III. [audience members cheer] Daniel Diederich, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Conor Ellis. [audience members cheer] Jenna Erway, Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] Go Jenna! [audience members cheer] – [Anthony] Jordon Faubert. [audience members cheer] Jillian Elizabeth Fournier. [audience members cheer] Zachary Gorman. – Go Zachy!
– Go Zach! – [Anthony] Madison Grit. [audience members cheer] Bailey Elizabeth Gulch, Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] That’s my best friend! – [Anthony] Morgan Alaine
Halligan, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Nicholas Paul Hepner. [audience members cheer]
– Thank you. – [Anthony] Shannon
Alise Hicks, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kevin Hieshetter. [audience members cheer] Dylann Marie Hodgkinson, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Tyrone Hunter, Jr. [audience members cheer] Samuel Clayton Kaser, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Nicole Killeen. [audience members cheer] – [Audience Member] Yay, Nicole. – [Anthony] Samuel Klinsky. [audience members cheer] Joel Langlois, Cum Laude. Susanna Rose Lesniak, Magna Cum Laude. Zezva Liluashvili, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Kevin Gerard Loftis, Magna Cum Laude. – [Audience Member] Yeah, Kevin. – [Anthony] Shane Lydon, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Haley Caroline Lyons, Summa Cum Laude. [audience member cheers] Marie Manko. [audience member cheers] Ricardo Marin, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Nicholas McConkey. [audience members cheer] Roxanna Mena. [audience members cheer] Luke Sarkis Michaels. [audience cheers] Emma Millard, Cum Laude. [audience member claps] Kailey Pardue. – [Audience Member] Kailey! [audience members cheer] – [Anthony] Chase Peery, Magna Cum Laude. Taylor Reck. [audience members cheer] Chase Buchanan Reppen. [audience members cheer] Jennifer Riddering, Cum Laude. Kylie Ann Robb. [audience member cheers] Mitchell Gerard Rogowski. [audience members cheer] Emilee Ryder, Cum Laude. – Thank you, thank you.
– Congratulations. – [Anthony] Kathleen
Sanders, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Matthew Smotrilla. [audience members cheer] Marisa Spetoskey, Cum Laude. [audience members clap] Danira Stanojevic, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members clap] Hal Swain. [audience members cheer] – [Audience Member] Hal yeah! – [Anthony] Sarah
Tafelsky, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Tien-Anh Tran. [audience members cheer] Patrick Michael Truskowski. [audience members cheer] Sidney Veneklase, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Justin Villafuerte. [audience members clap] Mary Katherine VonKronenberger. – Go Mary!
– Mare! – [Anthony] Kyle DeShaun Williams. [audience members cheer] – [Audience Member] All right Kyle. – [Anthony] Jason Lee Wrbelis. [audience members cheer] – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the
candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science in
International Business. – [Anthony] Domenica Cajas
Ludena, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Luisa Maria Michiu. – Thank you. – [Anthony] Alessia
Maria Restivo, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Mitchell McBaine Switzer. [audience members cheer] Lilia Thomas. [audience members cheer] – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the
candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Science
in Sustainable Business. – [Anthony] Greta
Baragar, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members clap] Riley Barnett. [audience members cheer] Scott Lane Berzley. [audience members cheer] Emily Brink, Cum Laude. Mary Margaret Cook, Cum Laude. [audience member cheers] Jared Edgerton. – Thank you. – [Anthony] Remington Gerst. [audience members cheer] – Thank you. – [Anthony] Malory
Maletic, Summa Cum Laude. Tyson Marsh, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Chloe Ann Niepoth. [audience members cheer] Neil Panega. [audience members cheer] Sophia Michelle Sebring, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts. – [Anthony] Anna Maria Cecchini. [audience members cheer]
– Thank you. – [Anthony] Caroline Grace
Cook, Magna Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Olivia Katherine Ann Hoffman, Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] Alyssa Ann Khalifa, Summa Cum Laude. [audience member cheers] – President Quinn, upon the
recommendation of the faculty, I am honored to present the candidate for the degree of Associate in Science. – [Anthony] Yara Hugo, Summa Cum Laude. [audience members cheer] – Thank you. – Will all the candidates please stand for the formal conferral of your degree, and the traditional turning of the tassel? – We ready? By virtue of the authority vested in me, as president of Aquinas College, by the Board of Trustees,
and upon recommendation of the faculty, I am
very pleased to confer upon each of you the degree
as it applies to you, and cite you as being
worthy of all the rights and privileges and responsibilities
appertaining thereto. You may move your tassels
from the right to the left. [audience cheers] – The Class of 2019, congratulations. That’s incredible. [audience cheers] It’s wonderful to see all of your smiles, and today you have a right to be proud. This part of your lifelong
pursuit of learning is now accomplished. We are proud of you and we
wish you every blessing. And now, graduates, please
join me in expressing appreciation for the people
who have inspired you, challenged you, and supported you, the Aquinas College faculty. [audience cheers] And now let’s also acknowledge the people who introduced you to Aquinas, and recruited you to come here to college. Those who have supported you with services during your years here, including those who organized this
commencement ceremony itself. The staff of Aquinas College. [audience cheers] And now to address our new graduates, I invite Joshua Marko, a 2008
alumnus and the president of the Alumni Association
Leadership Council. [audience applauds] – Thank you Dr. Hull. Good afternoon. It is my honor to be here with President and First Lady Quinn, the Aquinas College Board of Trustees, our distinguished faculty, alumni, special guests, family
members, and friends. I am grateful to be here with you today. I’d also like to thank Mr.
Murray for his words earlier. As someone in the midst
of my second quarter of my adventure, I found
them very insightful, so thank you Mr. Murray. On behalf of all of us, I
am honored to be the first to officially welcome
you, the Class of 2019, to the alumni ranks. [audience applause] My name is Josh Marko. I serve as the president
of the Alumni Association Leadership Council, and I’m a proud member of the Class of 2008. I studied history here at Aquinas before earning my MBA, and I am currently a project manager with the Michigan Small Business Development Center. I became a part of the
Aquinas College community 30 years ago, when my
father, Dr. Robert Marko, joined the faculty in
the theology department. I grew up learning about
the Dominican pillars of prayer, service, study, and community. The pillars that shape students’ lives into lives of purpose. I am positive that none
of you have been here as long as I have, but I am pretty sure that many of you feel the same way now as I felt sitting in
your spot 10 years ago. I was unsure about how the community that I had been a part of for so long would live beyond the
tree-lined walls of this campus. I felt relief and excitement for making it to the finish line, but I
found that leaving a place where I had thrived, the mentors
that had supported my work, the classrooms where I had learned, and the friends that I had
made, was disorienting. But in the time since I
walked across this stage, I’ve discovered some things. I discovered that uncertainty
and change are inevitable. That life’s paths are
not usually straight, and can feature winding, hairpin turns. I’m a history major that has worked in a nuclear power plant,
extensively in motor sports, as well as in higher education. Parents, take comfort,
everything will turn out okay. [audience laughs] I learned that every new
personal or professional goal achieved reveals fresh,
previously unknown horizons. And most importantly, I discovered that all of that is okay,
because I had my very own navigation system, my Aquinas experience. I think the navigation system
referenced by Mr. Murray earlier has its roots in the experience that you’ve had here
over the past four years. This was an experience,
and this is an experience rooted in the classroom, rooted in egregiously large ice cream cones in Wege, over late nights in the
second floor of The Moose, and in office hours with faculty, either in Holmdene or over at Billy’s. [audience laughs] What I learned in this community prepared me for the unknown
and gave me an appreciation, or a sense of wonderment,
for the new experiences and the continuous learning
that accompanies it. So this is when I make my pitch for the new community
that you joined today. The Alumni Association, and the 20,000 Aquinus alumni all around the globe. You have earned a lifelong connection to this great institution, and your reach now extends as far as you could imagine. So I challenge you to be
engaged with this community. To share your experiences and your stories at Social Saints events,
to visit the college often, to support the college when you are able, and to display your
diploma with all the pride that we felt watching you
walk across this stage today. Your experiences at Aquinas are
foundational and meaningful. You can go out into the
world with the knowledge that regardless of how
life evolves and changes, you are now and forever a Saint. [audience applause] And so I’m happy to say,
on today of all days, that it’s great to be a Saint. Congratulations. [audience cheers] – All right, thank you Josh. In a few moments, our
ceremony will conclude, and we, the faculty and
staff, will wish you well as you move on to the
next phase of your lives. We will do so with a blend of emotions, and our sincerest blessings. In that spirit, now we
will have Annie Newton, from the class of 2019, to
offer the closing prayer. – [Audience Member] Go Annie. – That walk feels really long, when you do this in front of everyone. Heavenly Father, as we
have gathered to celebrate the end of one journey and
the beginning of many more, we pause in thanksgiving
for our time spent and lessons learned
while at Aquinas College. You brought us together in community, to grow as disciples, working together as a united body,
shepherded by the support of our faculty and staff,
seeking that which is true, good, and beautiful. You have remained open to
our intercessions of prayer, helping to guide us through
the trials of exams, the stresses of our futures, and the highs and lows of everyday life. You showed us to love
our neighbors in service, as we extended our hands to
help, both at home and abroad, growing closer to you as we
were closer with one another. And, through study, you have showed us the rich virtues of the examined life. Through our time in the classroom, we have grown in wisdom,
and have become armed to share the fruits of contemplation, by the blessings of your grace. As we go forward, we
ask for the intercession of our patron, Saint Thomas Aquinas. Drawing on his Students’ Prayer, we ask God to guide our
beginnings of this new journey, direct our progress as we
follow our unique calls, and bring to successful completion this profound journey towards truth, for in the end, we seek
[speaks in foreign language], nothing but you, oh Lord. Amen.
– Amen. [audience applauds] – All right, thank you Annie. I now ask our chaplain,
Father Stan Drongowski, to offer the final blessing. – Please stand. God of life, love, and mercy, on this day of celebration
we give you great thanks. Over these past years,
you have watched over and guided these men and women in their journeys to this day. You have been their strength
in times of weakness, their perseverance in
times of discouragement, and at all times their peace. As they move forward,
we ask you to bless them with the power of your Holy Spirit. May they always celebrate you in prayer. Guide them in their continued search for wisdom and truth in study. Allow them to find informed
communities of support, and strengthen them to express gratitude for your grace, through loving service. As we send them forward, we ask that you be with them always,
as they live lives that sing your praise, bless your name, and speak always your divine truth. In this way, may they transform our world into the holy place you intend it to be. And we bless them in
the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. – [Audience] Amen. – Thank you Father Stan. We thank everyone for joining
us today for the celebration. It’s the highlight of our academic year, and one of the most memorable days in the lives of our graduates. Before we close, I’d like to
thank the Aquinas students, faculty and staff, who made
this event such a success today. [audience applause] Also, don’t forget,
please visit the college’s Facebook page and other social
media in the coming days, to see lots of photos. [audience laughs] I now invite Ms. Cindy VanGelderen, associate professor of accounting, and our faculty marshal,
to take her position as the leader of the recessional. The ushers will release
the faculty row by row, to create an honor cordon, beginning at the end of the seated rows. The cordon is a way for the faculty to honor the graduates and send
them off to a bright future. We would ask that everyone
stay in their seats until the faculty, followed
by the graduates, process out. Please remain seated
until all of the graduates have left the auditorium. Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend. – All right.
[audience cheers] [“Celebration March” by Robert Cotter] [“Academic Procession”
by Clifton Williams] – [Paul] Two, one, two, three, and. [“Recessional March” by Caitlin Brooks] Two, da da da and. [“Celebration March” by Robert Cotter]