May 24, 2017
Ursuline College Alumnae Association welcomed hundreds of new members last week when 322 students received their bachelor’s degrees, 155 received master’s degrees and five advanced-practice nurses received the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.
Ursuline College President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, Ph.D., offered words of encouragement. “Your experience of Ursuline can be your guide. You have spent these years evolving into the persons of integrity and purpose that God calls us to be. Turn your values, voice, and vision into the touchstones for every decision, every investment, every sacrifice you make,” she said to graduates at the ceremony in Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center on May 19.
Alumnae Relations Director Lynne Dewyre added her congratulations, saying “We are so pleased to welcome the Class of 2017 to our alumnae community and we look forward to keeping in touch with these grads as they pursue their careers and their dreams.”
Nursing continues to be the dominant field of study at Ursuline. Forty-eight percent of the bachelor’s degrees and of the graduate degrees went to nursing students.
Commencement speaker Sister Maureen Doyle, OSU inspired graduates with her description of the success of Urban Community School, where she said 80% of students live on incomes at or below the poverty level yet more than 90% of graduates complete high school in four years.
Sister Maureen, who retires this month after 32 years as director of the independent school, urged graduates to address the social ills that “stack the deck” against her students, starting before they are born, with their mothers’ poor access to prenatal care.
“I don’t have the recipe for change but I can tell you that it does not happen without relationships… No child learns without a relationship and the stronger the relationship, the greater the growth. I believe change follows the same equations: develop great relationships and great things will happen. As you move on, all of you are headed into careers where relationships matter.”
Sister Maureen had special words for nursing graduates: “We certainly appreciate and value your ‘pass rate,’ but equally important is the care and compassion you show every day with every patient.”
For the rest of the graduates, she added, “No matter what you are prepared to do, do your best: arrive early, stay late, offer to learn something new. Be the best art therapist, the most creative designer, a curious scientist, an eager educator, a dedicated administrator. You go forward well prepared, confident and ready to take your place.
“Wherever you are headed, always remember you are a graduate of a college that values relationships and proclaims that your friendships and memories are so rare that they cast their spell serene. You take these with you to cherish forever.”
To view a Flickr album of photographs from the May 19 Baccalaureate Mass, click here.