Seton Hall hosted its annual graduation ceremony at the Prudential Center on May 21st to honor its graduating class of 1,320 students.
“You all look beautiful,” said Karen Boroff, interim provost, to Seton Hall’s class of 2018 during the 161st Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony.
Sarah Yenesel/Photography Editor
The ceremony began with the annual singing of the National Anthem, led by graduating student, Angelie Fernandez.
“First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge and thank the families and friends of the graduating class of 2018,” Boroff said. “Without your love and support, these students would not have had the resources: financial, emotional, spiritual and otherwise to make it to today’s ceremony.”
Boroff continued by thanking SHU’s faculty members who aided and supported these students during their academic career. She then acknowledged the Board of Regents and Board of Trustees for their “enormous investment of time, talent and resources,” which continue to shape the Seton Hall community.
Jovita Carranza, the 44th Treasurer of the United States, was this year’s commencement speaker. The university shared this announcement mid-April after the community addressed their concerns regarding who would give the speech.
Carranza, who first began working in the United Parcel Service (UPS), shared her story on how she achieved her current success. She said to students that each person’s definition of success varies depending on their personal story.
“Please don’t ever be distracted by those who choose to remember your mistakes,” Carranza said, “But [remember those who] are capable of seeing your true value.”
Furthermore, Carranza stressed the importance of taking advantage of all the opportunities that become available to you. She stated that students should always and only focus on the present, since any actions and decisions made presently will inevitably shape their future.
“Today, the home of the Pirates has been transformed into the home of tomorrow’s nurses, teachers, social workers, business professionals, priests, scientists and much more,” said Janina Alzate, education and speech pathology major, during her valedictorian address.
Alzate shared that she believes that we all encounter certain people that will help motivate and inspire us. She shared her story about an interaction she had with one of her second grade students, Ava, who approached her one Monday morning with a handmade gift.
“On top of the assortment of popsicle sticks and stickers,” Alzate said, “She wrote: ‘Don’t stop doing stuff you love, and don’t stop dreaming.’”
Alzate shared with the graduates that they should not lose sight of their dreams and that dreaming big is in fact encouraged. Even if you accomplish those dreams, you should continue to aim higher and dream bigger, according to Alzate.
Students then proceeded to the stage to receive their diplomas, where the appropriate deans of their college handed to them. Some students walked outside immediately to join their families and friends, whereas others stayed until the end.
Hannah Sakha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.