PMC's 94th Commencement took place a week early this year, on the first Sunday in May. The day was bright, but not too hot, and the campus looked its best. The only things missing were flowering rhododendrons, which were late this year because of rainy early spring weather.
The lawn near the pond was tented to provide shelter both from the sun and the possibility of rain. Nearly 1,000 people gathered under the marquis, with several hundred additional family members and friends outside on the lawn.
President Nemerowicz welcomed everyone and addressed the graduating senior, describing the occasion as a celebration of "our learning community and your accomplishments." She added that "At this joyous occasion it is appropriate to remember that people are suffering every day from exclusion, hate, and violence in our Boston neighborhoods, in our immigran communities, in the streets of Iraq, in the country of Sudan.
"As we celebrate today, we take heart that your willingness to get involved with others who are different from you - to learn with them and solve problems with them - will demonstrate that the power of inclusion can alter the course of events and make our world a better place."
Graduating senior Iliana Vega sang "Shout to the Lord" as a tribute to the Class of 2006, and Yasmine Noza sang PMC's Alma Mater. Senior Class President Lisa Rodrigues told the class, "We are here because we have accomplished something that many of us thought was impossible. We are here to remember the past four years at Pine Manor College and feel good about the fact that 99 percent of us know one another's name, that the cooks know what we like and what we don't like, that Dean Alleyne stocks our favorite candy for our vists to her office, and, most important, we are here to reflect on the fact that we are now part of the larger PMC family."
In her remarks, senior class speaker Ashley Woodward Cirone said, "You can do anything you sent out to accomplish if you hold that desire with singleness of purpose." She reflected on common experiences over the last four years and emphasized that the members of the Class of 2006 were leaving PMC as educated individuals, thanks to PMC's outstanding faculty.
Among the honorary doctoral degree recipients were Leslie Allen, international tennis star and fouder and executive director of the Leslie Allen Foundation; Dr. Johnetta B. Cole, president of Bennett College for Women; and alumna Emily Kernan Rafferty '69, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Allen urged the graduates to "dream, diversify, do for others, and drive small cars." She called upon the students to work in their communities and said they could reach their goals if they followed a second set of four Ds: drive, determination, discipline, and dedication.
Cole said that, since commencements were about giving and getting advice, as an anthropologist she would honor the tradition and advised the students "to never stand behind anyone, even your man, because then you can't see where you're going; to stand up for what you believe in and work to make a difference; and to reach back and pull somebody up with you." She concluded by saying that she was counting on the graduates to "get this world right side up again."
Metropolitan Museum President Emily Kernan Rafferty '69 encouraged the graduates to "explore if you need, find your passion for sure, work fiercely hard, ever mindful of reaching new levels of learning and a consuming awareness of your place at this moment in time." She concluded by saying "Consider yourself warmly welcomed to a world that needs all your energy, intellect, and vision."
This year's ninety PMC graduates received Bachelor and Associate degrees in Biology, Business Administration, Communication, English, History and Culture, Liberal Studies, Psychology, Social and Political Systems, Psychology, Theatre, and Visual Arts.
Following the ceremonies, a reception was held for the graduates, their families, and guests on the terrace of the Ashby Campus Center. The Hess Gallery of the Annenberg Library was also open to view the Senior Visual Arts Thesis Exhibition, which included drawings, mixed media, photographs, graphic designs, and artists' books.
Mon, May 8, 2006
by Peter Woloschuk, Bulletin Editor