Below is a press release from Assumption College via Merit:
WORCESTER, MA — Assumption College recently conferred the degrees of 522 individuals who completed their studies at the culmination of the 2019-20 academic year.
Wilmington students included:
- Marisa Butler received a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication.
- Deven Langenfeld received a bachelor’s degree in Education and English.
- Taylor Santry received a bachelor’s degree in Education and English.
- Evan Sperlinga received a bachelor’s degree in Education and Mathematics.
On Sunday, May 10, the day on which the Class of 2020 was originally scheduled to receive their degrees at the College’s 103rd Commencement, Assumption virtually celebrated the candidates for graduation and their years of commitment to academic programs. Assumption President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., was joined by Provost and Academic Vice President Greg Wiener, Ph.D., and Vice President for Mission Father Richard Lamoureux, A.A. ’64 for a Conferral of Degrees ceremony that was livestreamed from the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. The ceremony was followed by a Mass which included candidates for graduation who pre-recorded hymns and readings.
Assumption has rescheduled its annual commencement ceremony during which it will formally honor the graduates of the Class of 2020 for August 23.
When addressing the graduates virtually, President Cesareo acknowledged the unprecedented challenges the Class of 2020 faced in their final semester, namely making a swift shift to remote learning due to the global pandemic.
“You have come to the end of your studies at Assumption under extraordinary circumstances. This has certainly been a difficult and challenging semester for your class. You have had to confront adversity and the unexpected,” he said. “You should be proud of the way in which you adapted to this situation, how you showed your resilience, strength, and ability to overcome challenging times.”
He added that while the COVID-19 pandemic has created many challenges for the Class of 2020, their Assumption education has and will help them thrive rather than simply endure. “Because of your education, you are able to view challenges as obstacles to overcome rather than a crisis to be endured,” he explained.
“Assumption has provided you with an education that prepared you to confront and to make sense of these personal and societal challenges. This pandemic has made the unique value of a Catholic liberal education like the one Assumption provides even more evident. The most important challenges our society faces in both overcoming and understanding this crisis involve more than technical problems, although those are an important part of an Assumption education, too. The essential issues are the deepest questions of the human heart, which transcend time and place,” he said, adding that ancient and modern thinkers have explored the questions regarding the meaning of life and human suffering.
Saint Augustine reminds us that these questions are ‘ever ancient, ever new.’ The Assumption education you received has prepared you for a changing world. Many institutions have forgotten these enduring questions. Assumption never has, and you have benefited from this. A Catholic liberal education engages these questions has prepared you to live out your vocations and to be lifelong learners. It has provided you with the wisdom and courage to confront the challenges we face at this time and that you will face throughout your life.”
Before closing, President Cesareo said he hoped that the disruptive nature of the last several months had taught the graduates some important lessons: take the time to say ‘I love you,’ to stop harboring resentment, thinking that forgiveness can always wait for another day, to cease pretending that little annoying things matter so much, to pick up your heads to look at the beauty of the world, to examine your beliefs about what truly matters in life, to mend relationships, and to take time to pray,” he said.
“I am not going to say goodbye, but rather arrivederci, since it is my hope to see you in August,” he said.
The ceremony was complemented by the playing of a newly composed hymn based, “Shelter Me,” a prayer song in the time of COVID-19, by Jan Michael Joncas based on Psalm 23. After the conferral of undergraduate, continuing education, and graduate degrees, Adam Duval ’20, William Goliger ’20, Arianna Pereschino ’20, and led by Brad Dumont, sang the Alma Mater, “Long Live the Blue and White,” via video conference.
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