“At the speed of light, a virus has put our world onto its knees,” said Father Francois Diouf, the chaplain at the College of Saint Elizabeth (CSE). “This time is reminding us that we are dependent on one another. Our connectedness is what makes us human.”
Diouf’s remarks were given at the College’s 118th Commencement Ceremony. In the past, graduating students would gather together in large crowds, surrounded by cajoling friends and family, to celebrate this momentous occasion in their lives. However, this year looks a little bit different. Students are swapping hugs for phone calls and family parties for video conferences, but they still remain just as connected.
In her welcoming remarks, Dr. Helen J. Streubert, president of Saint E’s, emphasized this interconnectedness by acknowledging the family, friends, partners and coworkers who helped each graduate succeed. Throughout her remarks, Streubert continued to address the individuals in the Class of 2020 and note their historic legacy at the College.
“Who could have imagined in August of 2016,
when we welcomed traditional undergraduate men to campus for the first time that, four years later, we would be experiencing yet another historic event: The College’s first virtual graduation.”
As the event progressed, degrees were conferred to all students in the College’s bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs. Dr. Patricia Heindel, dean of professional studies, and Dr. Anthony Santamaria, dean of arts and sciences, read each graduate’s name as their degree and picture populated the screen.
Student speaker Taylor Veve, a business administration major from Bayville, N.J., spoke about her desire to set a positive example for her younger siblings and her motivation to succeed. Prior to even graduating, Veve was able to secure a position at Fox News, slowly building toward her dream of becoming a news anchor.
“Because of my time at the College of Saint Elizabeth, I have the utmost confidence that I can do anything I set my mind to,” says Taylor.
April Tamburo, the continuing studies student speaker, discussed her journey toward attending Saint E’s. The College’s 118th Commencement Ceremony will be Tamburo’s third college graduation in the last four years.
“I truly believe CSE is different from any other institution I’ve attended,” explains April. “Being supported mentally, financially, emotionally, spiritually and academically is not something I had experienced before coming here.”
Congratulations to the Class of 2020!
Mary Colleen Robinson has a communication degree with a concentration in journalism and is currently working as the PR/Social Media Specialist at the College of Saint Elizabeth.