Springfield College hosted its 2022 graduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, in the Wellness and Recreation Complex Field House located on the main campus. This year, the honor of the keynote commencement address went to two legendary faculty members at Springfield College, nationally known athletic counselors and researchers in the field of sport psychology Judy L. Van Raalte and Britton W. Brewer.
“Today, Class of 2022, you have accomplished something very special, you are graduates of Springfield College,” said Van Raalte, who serves as the graduate director of the athletic counseling program. “For most of you, you have completed more than 17 years of formal education. Take some time to recognize and appreciate the experiences and skills you have gained at Springfield College. This is a very special day.”
Van Raalte and Brewer have both been an integral part of the fabric of graduate education at Springfield College. Through their efforts of building strong connections on the campus, they have helped prepare graduate students for their future experiences for more than 30 years. Van Raalte and Brewer have presented their research both nationally and internationally on topics such as self-identity, self-talk, pain, injury, and professional issues in sport and exercise psychology.
“Graduates, you are not the same people you were when you started your graduate studies,” added Brewer, who is retiring this spring. “Be sure to take a look at the newest version of yourself, the Springfield College graduate version. Today is a very special day, be sure to enjoy it with all of your fellow students.”
Leading into their commencement address, Van Raalte and Brewer collected messages addressed to the Class of 2022 from Springfield College alumni, and they distributed those special words during Saturday’s ceremony.
“Class of 2022, we leave with you, words of encouragement from Springfield College alumni,” added Van Raalte. “Take these messages with you as you move forward. Congrats, Class of 2022.”
Convening the ceremony was Springfield College Board of Trustees Chair William A. Burke, III, who introduced the 13th president of Springfield College, Mary-Beth A. Cooper.
“You have been privileged to experience a Springfield College education,” added Cooper. “A special type of education that is built upon the foundation of our Humanics philosophy. You have educated your whole person, with a level of adaptability and resiliency.”
Cooper added, “This is the true hallmark of a Springfield College education, the acquisition of knowledge that is used for the good of the whole society. You have made our Humanics philosophy your own, you move forward serving a role-models, and I am proud to be your president."
Each year, a student is selected by their peers to address the graduating class. This year, Springfield College School of Social Work and Behavioral Sciences student Ashley Vassallo addressed attendees.
“Fellow graduates, we have been resilient, and we have earned an elite education from Springfield College,” added Vassallo, who earned her master of social work degree. “Stay committed to advocacy and equality, and congrats to all my fellow graduates.”
At the graduate commencement, 454 degrees were awarded. At the undergraduate commencement on Sunday, May 15 at the MassMutual Center starting at 9:30 a.m., 622 bachelor’s degrees will be awarded. Including the degrees awarded on at the graduate ceremony, a total of 1076 degrees will be awarded over the two days.