May 23, 2024
Olivia Boudreau

School of Graduate Studies Celebrates 2024 Commencement

On Saturday, May 18, the Assumption community gathered in the Plourde Recreation Center to celebrate the achievements of the School of Graduate Studies’ class of 2024. 

Remarks were given to the class by Assumption University President Greg Weiner, who spoke to graduates of their power to have a great impact on our society as it faces struggles relating to finding a common purpose together. 

“Today, you are uniquely positioned to carry intellectual seriousness, thoughtful citizenship, and devotion to the common good into a world that urgently needs them. You study diverse topics pertinent to diverse professions, but they are united by the power you wield to answer what may be our society’s most urgent crisis: a crisis of purpose,” Weiner said. “The world…is waiting for Assumption graduates to help us rediscover common purpose and to do so in the settings that ask the most – and enable the most: our communities, our workplaces, our families, our friendships.”

This year’s graduate commencement speaker was Carolyn Clancy ’82, an accomplished executive leader and businesswoman in the financial industry, and member of Assumption’s Board of Trustees. She was  introduced by Kimberly Schandel, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. 

“When you’re speaking with Ms. Clancy, you have her full attention. She’s engaged, she wants to hear what you want to say. She asks questions, she contributes ideas, she’s curious and optimistic,” said Schandel in her introduction. “I believe it is this focus, this energy, this curiosity, and her attention to people that have contributed significantly to her success, both as a professional and a person. She personifies the Assumption spirit we hope we have nurtured in you, our graduates.” 

While addressing the graduates, Clancy spoke about leadership, and how Assumption graduates have the capacity to become the great leaders that society needs today.

“To thrive in our dynamic world, we need leaders who can navigate through the uncertainty, who can be flexible, think smart, and provide value. You are those leaders,” said Clancy. “Do not hesitate and don’t have any fear to lead. In fact, embrace it. Seize the leadership moments you’ll encounter, lead by example, stand out, and make an impact. As an Assumption graduate, you are ready to think and act like a leader.”

Clancy also emphasized the importance of leadership that is collaborative, boldly innovative, and celebratory when the time calls for it.

“Start by lifting others up and helping others do their best. None of us in the world gets things done alone,” said Clancy. “Push the boundaries. Don’t settle for mediocracy or complacency or just simply keeping things the same. Nothing in this world changes without inspirational leaders who have the courage to think big, push the boundaries, and who also have the courage and the endurance to lead in the face of often tough obstacles and critics. Celebrate the wins and push through and persevere through the losses or the down times. The reality is that there are times you will succeed greatly, and there are times you just won’t. You must learn from your failures, pick yourself up, and just keep going.”

In closing her commencement address, Clancy encouraged the graduates to make their contributions to their respective fields count, even if they stumble along the way.

“In [Teddy] Roosevelt’s ‘Man in the Arena’ speech, he said, (paraphrasing) ‘it is not the critic who counts. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who strives valiantly, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat,’” said Clancy. “I encourage all of you today: get in the arena. You’re all going into such noble professions that we need so desperately, and I know you will make them count.”

Clancy was bestowed with an honorary Doctorate of Letters after her address. Following the honor, graduate students were presented their academic hoods by their respective program directors and received their degrees. 

To close the ceremony, a blessing was bestowed on the graduates by Fr. Chi Ai Nguyen, A.A.

“Loving God, we ask that you bless the members of the Assumption University School of Graduate Studies Class of 2024,” Fr. Nguyen said. “Help them to cherish this moment of achievement and to walk the way ahead courageously and successfully utilizing the knowledge they have gained in service to others as they travel the road you have set before them.”