May 17, 2015
Communications and Marketing
Goffstown, N.H. – During Saint Anselm College's 122nd commencement exercises on Sunday, May 17, commencement speaker Mitt Romney addressed 471 members of the class of 2015, and Dr. Steven DiSalvo presided over his second commencement as president.
Dr. DiSalvo, after congratulating the members of the class, noted that they were graduating in a special year, the 125th anniversary of the college's founding.
"Looking back, not only over your four years here, but over 125 years of tradition and distinction, our unique history is what makes us all part of something truly special," he said. "As you step forward into your bright futures, I know that you will always be Anselmian strong."
Mr. Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, is a leader in both public service and private enterprise. He is a former governor of Massachusetts and the founder of Bain Capital.
In his address to the graduates, Mr. Romney spoke about the larger world they are now entering, and encouraged them to pursue fulfillment and purpose by "living a large life." He spoke about the enduring value of relationships and of service to others in this endeavor.
"The real wealth in life is in your friendships, your marriage, your children, what you have learned in your work, what you have overcome, your relationship with God, and in what you have contributed to others. This last dimension, contribution to others, is often the most overlooked and most undervalued. Living life in fullness includes serving others, and doing so without pride or personal gain. It will fill your heart and expand your mind."
In addressing the role of work to the future of graduates about to enter the workforce, Mr. Romney urged them to make the most of the opportunities that come their way.
"Work engages you in life. You come to know more people, to understand their motivations and values, and to learn the intricacies of the enterprise that employs you. Dive in. Get more from your job than the paycheck. Hard work is living large," he said.
Mr. Romney also spoke about the need to engage in citizenship. "Most of you probably won't run for office, but the country needs all of you to serve. America needs your passion, your impatience with inaction, your participation in the political discourse. New Hampshire is the greatest presidential proving ground we have; its enduring impact is only as certain as the next generation of citizens who choose to get involved."
"Live large by expanding your world and engaging in your world, constantly learning, nourishing friendships, overcoming reversals, engaging in citizenship, and serving others," he said. "That is the road less travelled, and it will make all the difference."
Business major Colleen M. Tracy, from Watertown, Mass., president of the graduating class, was the student speaker. She thanked the professors who have "opened our minds, challenged us, and helped us succeed. They have helped mold the beginnings of our careers; the beginnings of our futures," as businessmen and women, scientists, philosophers, teachers, politicians, nurses, and theologians.
Peter Schirripa of Lexington, Mass., with a G.P.A. of 3.98, received the Chancellor's Award for the graduate with the highest academic average.
Politics professor Barbara Baudot received the award for excellence in faculty accomplishment. She joined the faculty in 1989, and specializes in teaching International Relations, Political Economy, International Law and Organizations Comparative Politics.
In addition to commencement speaker Mitt Romney, who received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws, the college also conferred honorary degrees upon:
- Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., past president of the college and member of the Saint Anselm Class of 1969, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters;
- Dr. F. Marc LaForce, doctor and humanitarian, member of the Saint Anselm Class of 1960, Honorary Doctorate of Science;
- Joseph Loughrey, chair of the board of Hillenbrand and Oxfam America, Honorary Doctorate of Humanities; and
- Hilda Alcindor, Ph.D. (hon.) B.A., R.N., F.A.A.N., dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Episcopal University of Haiti, Honorary Doctorate of Humanities.