Class of 2018 Ready to Lead

By Caitlin Burns | May 21, 2018

The spirits of 1,000 students earning doctoral, master’s, and baccalaureate degrees could not be dampened by the threat of rain during the 162nd Arcadia University Commencement ceremonies on May 17 and 18 at Kuch Center Alumni Gymnasium.

At Thursday evenings Graduate Commencement Ceremony, 490 graduate students were advised to adapt to their challenges and focus on their goals by Honorary Doctor of Science Degree recipient Suneet Chauhan ’79, MD, professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Texas Health McGovern Medical School.

“If you fail or stumble, others in your discipline do, too,” said Dr. Chauhan. “Focus on failure, find a solution, and remain focused with fortitude.”

On Friday, the 577 undergraduate students were inspired to live their dreams and help others by Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recipient Hank Brown during the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. Brown, a former Congressman and Senator from Colorado, encouraged students to show their Arcadia passion in all facets of their lives.

President Ajay Nair, presiding over his first Commencement Ceremonies, encouraged the Class of 2018 to lead. Dr. Nair remarked that many of the students have already overcome so much and made such an impact on their communities, as well as Arcadia’s, and that he anticipates nothing less from their future endeavors.

“Each graduating class that I see elicits in me an unbridled optimism about our future,” said Dr. Nair. “When I reflect on just how much you have accomplished here at Arcadia, it makes me dream about what you one day will do that transforms the world around us.”

Class of 2018 President Brooke Boyer, a Biology major, presented a new charging port in the Commons as the class gift, and wished her classmates well on their journey of life.

“Looking at this class, our class, I know that every single one of us are capable of doing great things,” said Boyer. “Who you are going to become is totally up to you. Wherever your life takes you and whatever you become, be a good one. We have the power to make a positive difference in the world.”

During the ceremonies, students and faculty received the following special recognitions:

  • A. Richard Polis Graduate Scholarship Award: Master’s of Public Health and Master’s of Medical Science graduate Megan Marianne Dorris
  • Professor of the Year: Kathy Valverde, professor and chair of Genetic Counseling
  • Ira R. Kraybill Award for Full-Time Study: Early Elementary and Special Education major Olivia Bates
  • Ira R. Kraybill Award for Part-Time Study: History major Vilius Kasmauskis
  • Senior Golden Disc Award: History major Devon Miller
  • Dr. Pradyumna Chauhan, professor of English, and Dr. Finbarr O’Connor, professor and chair of Philosophy and Religion, were recognized for their 50-year careers as dedicated faculty to the University.