黄色视频 Celebrates Class of 2024

Graduating seniors and graduate students marked the end of their academic journeys at 黄色视频 during school-based ceremonies held on May 16 and 17.
黄色视频 Commencement 2024 Lawler Arena

For most of the students in 黄色视频鈥檚 Class of 2024, the 74th Commencement Exercises held in Lawler Arena on Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17, were their first formal graduation ceremony since middle school, due to restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

So it was no surprise the energy was high, the cheers were loud and the joy was infectious as an estimated 15,000 people descended on campus over two days to honor the graduating seniors and graduate students for their academic achievements.

鈥淵ou endured and persevered, and your reward is more than a college degree,鈥 Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost John 鈥淪ean鈥 Condon, Ph.D., said in his remarks to graduates. 鈥淵ou learned resiliency. You practiced empathy. And you displayed courage.鈥

This year鈥檚 Commencement had five school-based ceremonies, each featuring a distinguished speaker and a video student address from Student Government Association President Maxwell Beland 鈥24 and Graduate Student Senate President Lara Guvelioglu 鈥22, M鈥24.聽

鈥淚f 黄色视频 has taught us anything鈥 (it鈥檚 to) jump, run, throw yourself into the unknown,鈥 Beland said in the video message. 鈥淲hile it may seem scary and boundless, the opportunities it provides are far too impactful and important to pass up.鈥

Here are just some of the highlights from the five Commencement ceremonies.


School of Nursing and Health Sciences

The School of Nursing and Health Sciences kicked off the festivities Thursday afternoon.聽

Leo Desrochers 鈥24 received his bachelor鈥檚 degree in exercise science, and his parents shared how excited they were to see him cross the stage and hear his name called.聽

鈥淲ith COVID, Leo never really had a full graduation,鈥 his mother Peg, said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 really fun to see him in his cap and gown.鈥

After receiving his bachelor鈥檚 degree in business management last year from 黄色视频, Kevin Carroll 鈥23 M鈥24 said receiving his master鈥檚 degree in health and wellness management was a full-circle moment.

鈥淚 hope for the best for my peers with all their future endeavors,鈥 he said. 鈥溁粕悠 has set us up for success so I know they鈥檒l succeed.鈥澛

Francis Kenneally, president and CEO of the 黄色视频 Valley YMCA, gave the ceremony鈥檚 keynote address.聽

鈥淚 ask you to be the spark that ignites the flame of positive change and innovation,鈥 he told the graduates. 鈥淏e the spark that ignites the flame of collaboration in building community. Be the spark that ignites the flame of inspiration in the lives of others.鈥

John Petillo, president of Sacred Heart University, received an honorary doctorate in public health.


School of Arts and Sciences

Before the School of Arts and Sciences commencement started on Friday, Cori Duda sat eagerly waiting for her son, Alex Conte 鈥24, to get his bachelor鈥檚 degree in communication and media with a minor in marketing. She and the rest of the extended Conte clan were holding cardboard cutouts of Alex鈥檚 face.聽

鈥淲e鈥檙e so proud of our Alex,鈥 she said. 鈥淗e鈥檚 such a blessing. He worked really hard at 黄色视频 and he really deserves this day.鈥

Backstage in Hammel Court, Allyson Qualley 鈥24, and Mitch Root 鈥23 M鈥24 were chatting while waiting to line up for the procession.

鈥淚鈥檓 ecstatic,鈥 Qualley, a biology major and women鈥檚 ice hockey player, said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 great to see four years of hard work come together.鈥

鈥淭his is what every kid dreams of,鈥 Root said prior to receiving his master鈥檚 in communications. 鈥淔ive years at 黄色视频 鈥 I couldn鈥檛 have asked for anything better.鈥

During the ceremony, distinguished speaker Dave McGillivray 鈥76, H鈥12, stressed the importance of hope.

鈥淒reaming big, setting realistic goals and not limits, having the guts to commit to them, doing the work to earn the right to go after them and succeeding at them makes you an accomplisher,鈥 he said. 鈥淭here is no greater reward in life than the self-satisfaction of knowing that you have, indeed, accomplished what you committed to do.鈥

Alumni William 鈥66 and Nancy Marsden 鈥66, owner of DeMoulin Brothers, both received an honorary doctorate in fine arts.


School of Engineering and Computational Sciences聽

Distinguished speaker Joshua Dion 鈥03, vice president of engineering at RightHand Robotics shared with graduates that the four keys to success are embracing change, never settling, viewing adversity as an opportunity and never going alone.

鈥淚t’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the enormity of (life鈥檚) challenges,鈥 he stated. 鈥淵et amidst the turbulence, there lies an opportunity for unity and progress鈥he challenges we face are not insurmountable if we approach them with empathy, understanding and a shared commitment for building a better future for all.鈥

John Russo 鈥24 identified with Dion鈥檚 speech as he said there were ups and downs while working for his bachelor鈥檚 in civil engineering.

鈥淭here were a lot of good moments though,鈥 he followed up. 鈥淚 loved my classes and my professors. Later this month, I鈥檒l be working as a field engineer for Skanska USA in Waltham.鈥

Isaac Hodgains M鈥24 said he traveled from Chattanooga, Tenn. to receive his master鈥檚 in data science, which he earned through online courses.聽

鈥淭his is my first time stepping on campus,鈥 he said. 鈥淲hat I鈥檝e seen of it is nice.鈥澛


Girard School of Business

Meghan Leporati M鈥24, Kristen Tracey M鈥24 and Mary Ashleigh Faletra M鈥24 all earned their master鈥檚 degrees in management either partially or completely online.聽

鈥淲e were used to (working online) from COVID,鈥 Tracey said. 鈥淭he master鈥檚 program was great because we worked with a lot more real-world applications than we did during our undergrad.鈥澛

While watching the ceremony, Janele Blanchard said she couldn鈥檛 believe her youngest child, Jack Blanchard 鈥24, was finally graduating college.

鈥淚t鈥檚 all a bit surreal and bittersweet,鈥 she explained. 鈥淗e鈥檚 receiving his bachelor鈥檚 in accounting and finance. Andersen Tax hired him after he completed an internship with them.鈥

On stage, distinguished speaker Richard Gallant H鈥15, P鈥24 spoke on the importance of passion.

鈥淗ard work is the equalizer,鈥 he said. 鈥淚f you want to be successful you have to be passionate about what you want to do and go all in.鈥

Christine 鈥75 and James Zampell 鈥75 were awarded honorary degrees in business and commerce.


Winston School of Education and Social Policy聽

Michelle Prolux said her daughter, Candace Proulx M鈥24, has been working as a school guidance counselor in Methuen, Mass. while pursuing her master鈥檚 degree in education.

鈥淪he was working full time and taking classes at night,鈥 she said. 鈥淪he鈥檚 such a hard worker, and she鈥檚 only 24. We鈥檙e all so proud of her.鈥澛

Sean and Maura Lally said their daughter, Ciara Lally 鈥23 M鈥24, had an incredible five years at 黄色视频.聽

鈥淗er overall educational experience, the communication she had with faculty, was phenomenal,鈥 said Maura. 鈥淪he鈥檚 also made some lifelong friends here.鈥

Distinguished speaker and honorary degree recipient Erika Giampietro H鈥24, founding executive director of the Massachusetts Alliance for Early College, outlined how choices and luck contribute to success.聽

鈥淐hoose wisely who you keep your time with, choose to work hard, choose to embrace challenges,鈥 she said. 鈥淗ere鈥檚 the thing about luck 鈥 it鈥檚 out of your control. Instead of focusing on your own luck, be someone else鈥檚 luck. Be the good luck that affects someone’s life that they couldn鈥檛 control themselves.鈥


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