Stressing the power of relationship building, award-winning actor John Lithgow and his spouse, economic historian Mary Yeager, delivered the keynote address as Dominican celebrated Commencement 2018 on May 12 by conferring degrees on 479 students, including 326 undergraduates and 153 graduates.
“We suspect this fine school has given you the gift of friendship and relationships among you that will evolve and deepen for years to come,” said Mr. Lithgow, who received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree during ceremonies on Forest Meadows Field.
“Take it from your two wise old commencement speakers, this is the most precious gift of all,”
added Dr. Yeager, who received an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree.
“You received a splendid education here at Dominican, a major achievement and invaluable asset as you set forth in life,” Mr. Lithgow concluded. “But it is through your relationships with others that each of you will grow to discover and understand the deepest mystery of life – yourself.”
Mr. Lithgow and Dr. Yeager then delivered shout-outs and praise for the accomplishments of graduates such as Alexa LoGiudice ’18, Rebecca Van Horn ‘18 and Bri Wilson ’18, Josh Rosenberg ‘18, Sierra Najolia ‘18, Sayra Trejo ’18, and Anthony Sassano ’18.
Hallie Lou Balch ‘18 and Samantha Hunt ‘18, the president and vice president of Associated Students of Dominican University (ASDU), delivered the undergraduate student address. They spoke about the lessons they learned.
“When our world inevitably crashes in on us and tries to knock us down, we will not fall because of the strength of our roots,” Samantha said. “Our time at Dominican has made us stronger because it taught us that defeat, setbacks, and loss do not define who we are or all that we can be.”
Margaret Roesner MBA ‘18, who delivered the graduate student address, thanked Dominican for a dynamic learning experience.
“We gleaned that integral to our approach to life is preservation of culture and diversity and social benefit through our disciplines of business, education, health and psychology,” Margaret said. “A true measure of abundance and success is the action of giving back. The spirit of sharing lends testament to our character.”
Anthony Sassano ‘18, an Occupational Therapy major who represented Dominican on the NCAA’s national Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), was named the Outstanding Student from the undergraduate Class of 2018. Erin McKay ‘18, a BFA in Dance major who has been a Resident Assistant on campus for three years, was the recipient of the Veritas Cup, given annually to the undergraduate most considered “a friend of the class.”
In addition, Mark Chhabria was named the outstanding graduate student in the Barowsky School of Business, Marissa Marie Page was named outstanding graduate student in the School of Liberal Arts and Education, and Emily Louise Minor was named the outstanding graduate student in the School of Health and Natural Sciences.
Occupational Therapy professor Dr. Karen McCarthy was named Teacher of the Year and bioscience instructor Kegan Donlan was announced as the Adjunct Teacher of the Year.