SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield College hosted its 2013 graduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, on Naismith Green, on the College’s main campus. Well-known community leader, Marian L. Heard, spoke to students who earned master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and certificates of advanced instruction at the ceremony.
“You have to be humble about this gift of education,” said Heard, who earned a master’s degree from Springfield College in 1978. “We are very lucky people to be sitting here at Springfield College today. We have been given gifts that some people can’t even imagine. You have positions and titles, and now another piece of paper that says to the world, you are bright and special. One the proudest moments in America is to watch young people with great minds at work.”
Heard was awarded an honorary doctor of Humanics degree by Springfield College as part of the ceremony. The College has, historically, awarded honorary degrees to a few outstanding individuals who, by their character and accomplishments, personify the College’s guiding philosophy, Humanics. The philosophy emphasizes the dedication of spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others.
Heard spent more than 30 years affiliated with the United Way. In 2004, she retired as president and CEO of the United Way Boston, and the CEO of the United Way of New England.
“I am proud to say I graduated from Springfield College,” said Heard. “I am so happy to receive this honorary degree. We want to thank the current graduates for upholding the values here at Springfield College. When you go out into the world to do whatever it is you are going to do, we know you will make the College proud.”
Convening the ceremony was the chair of the Springfield College Board of Trustees, Doug Coupe, who introduced the 12th president of Springfield College, Richard B. Flynn. “To each of today’s graduates, I offer heartfelt congratulations, as well as a sincere thank you for being a part of the life of Springfield College,” added Flynn. “With your well-earned and well-deserved advanced degree, each one of you now possesses the skills, the experience, and education to realize many of your hopes and aspirations, and to further your chosen careers.”
The student speaker was Springfield College School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation major, Susan Sotir. Sotir received her doctor of philosophy degree in physical education.
“Leaving Springfield College, we can handle challenges, we are prepared in spirit, mind and body to do hard work,” said Sotir. “Our practice at maintaining outward composure, in the face of adversity, will serve us well in going forward to lead and to serve others. We have done the work, crafted the skills, and completed this part of the journey.”
At the graduate commencement, 638 master’s degrees, 6 certificates of advanced graduate study, 19 doctor of philosophy degrees, and 31 doctoral of physical therapy degrees were awarded. At the undergraduate commencement on Sunday at the MassMutual Center starting at 9:30 a.m., 913 diplomas will be awarded for a two-day total of 1607 degrees.