Commencement 2003

PMC's Commencement Sunday dawned bright, comfortable, and beautiful, which was quite some feast considering that 24 out of May's 31 days were overcast and rainy this year in the Greater Boston area. Because of the unusually rainy and cool weather, the grousing and flowering season was about three weeks behind; however, a number of flowering trees that normally blossom at the end of April were still in bloom, along with forsythia, providing splashes of color everywhere.

The Academic Procession began to move from the area of the Annenberg Library promptly at 11 a.m., and the music of a small ensemble heralded to procession's arrival in the glade next to the pond. More than 1,000 family members, friends, alumnae, and staff rose to their feet as the faculty, staff, trustees, and seventy-seven graduates moved to their seats.

Welcoming everyone to the 91st Commencement of the College, President Gloria Nemerowicz expressed her pride in the graduating class for enriching the entire PMC learning community. "You have begun t make your mark, and we expect you to make your contribution and achieve your success while caring for the welfare of others. It is up to you make the principles of inclusivity and social responsibility a reality in your lives and in the society in which you live."

President Nemerowicz was followed by Katie Green '03, who had been elected Commencement speaker by her classmates. Green recalled that, "over the past four years, we have faced many challenges and opportunities. We had to cope with 9/11 and the loss of friends and our beloved teacher Professor Tosiello. We have grown and matured, and with the help of the entire PMC community, we have shaped ourselves into leaders. We have found our voices, and we will be heard." Green concluded by saying, "As we begin this new phase of our lives, we are as ready we can be. However, we have to remember that up to now we've conquered hills, but now we have mountains to climb."

Honorary degrees were there awarded to alumna Anne B. Batterson, author, adventurer, teacher; Marsha Johnson Evans, president of the American Red Cross; and Dr. Antonia Coello Novello, New York State health commissioner and former surgeon general of the United States. Each of the honorees spoke for five minutes, urging the graduates to be true to themselves, to remember their roots, to work hard, to go out of their way in their concern for others, and to take risks.

After the faculty awards, student honors and awards, and the Distinguished Service Award, Dean of the College Nia Lane Chester presented the graduating class for the formal awarding of their degrees. Sixty-nine graduates received Bachelor's degrees, and eight received Associate's degrees in the following areas: 12 in Biology, 16 in Business Administration, 10 in Communication, 4 in English, 4 in History and Culture, 5 in Liberal Studies, 14 in Psychology, 5 in Social and Political Systems, and 6 in Visual Arts.

To conclude the ceremonies, President Nemerowicz introduced the faculty and faculty emeritae/i and asked them to stand and be recognized, and then asked the graduates to stand and express their thanks to their families for their support over the past four years.