The Class of 2016 Steps to the Future

By Caitlin Burns | May 23, 2016

Over 1,000 Arcadia University students earned doctoral, master’s, and baccalaureate degrees at Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies on May 19 and 20 on Haber Green.

At Thursday’s Graduate Ceremony, Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recipient Lois Haber ’71, ’16H retired CEO and President of Delaware Valley Financial Services (DVFS), encouraged those receiving doctoral and master’s degrees to find their own path to happiness, even if it is one they did not expect.

Haber shared her own life experiences with graduates, talking about how her greatest accomplishments in her career were not planned. As an English major, Haber said, she always imagined a career in publishing. However, opportunities arose that eventually led to Haber be a co-founder of DVFS, a technology focused, leading third party administrator to the insurance industry of variable and fixed annuities and variable life insurance.

“My journey has been exciting, scary and rewarding, offering many opportunities,” Haber said. We are fortunate to live in a world of possibilities. Aim high and have the courage to live the life you are meant to live.”

On Friday, over 600 students processed onto Haber Green in the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony. Gary M. Reedy ’16H, CEO of the American Cancer Society, received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and told students that community service was a key to a successful life.

“As you go through life, do not be obsessed with fame, fortune and fans, but rather focus on what is most important: faith, family and friends,” Reedy said. “Focus your efforts of living a life of significance. Do not go through life asking what other people can do for you. But focus on what you can do for others.”

The Class of 2016 were joined by family, friends, and Arcadia’s faculty and staff in celebrating their hard work and achievement. Many graduates reflected on their time at Arcadia, while keeping an eye firmly fixed on the future.

“The past few weeks have been both exciting and nerve-wracking, but I’m ready to take the next steps,” Jen Retter ’16 said. “While there are so many things that I’ll miss about Arcadia, I feel fortunate to have picked a university that prepares students to succeed after graduation.”

The Class of 2016 achieved on the national and international levels, and includes an X-Culture Symposium participant, a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia fellowship, and several Kennedy Center American College Regional II Festival winners.

Additionally, members of the Class of 2016 have published books and articles, presented at regional and national mathematics, health, and science conferences, and competed for regional athletic titles.

Class President Alicia Alvarez ’16 and Vice President Jillian Arenson ’16 presented the class gift, water bottle stations in the Commons and Kuch Center, in order to encourage future classes to live more sustainably.

“Each of you is about to embark on a new path,” President Nicolette DeVille Christensen said. “Be sure that your aspirations are lofty, that  your ambition is great, and that your determination is steadfast as you contemplated the ‘why.’ Have confidence to go beyond what you may think possible.”

During the Graduate ceremony, the University presented Dr. Kathleen K. Mangione, professor of Physical Therapy, with the Professor of the Year award. Additionally, Michelle Angela Del Buono ’16 received the A. Richard Polis Graduate Scholarship Award.

At the Undergraduate ceremony, Danielle Maxson ’16 received the Senior Golden Disc Award for leadership and commitment. Lindsay Ann Miller ’16 earned the Ira R. Kraybill Award for Full-Time Study for academic achievement, while the Ira R. Kraybill Award for Part-Time Study went to Teresa M. Clee ’16. Additionally, The Michael L. Berger Faculty Scholars and Artists Prize was awarded to Dr. Sheryl T. Smith, associate professor of Biology.