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Virtual Commencement 2020

View our 2020 Commencement ceremony. The broadcast first premiered on Sunday, August 23rd

Virtual Commencement 2020


Pine Manor College’s 109th Commencement ceremony was broadcast in a virtual ceremony on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020.

William Stargard, Ph.D.,
Professor of Art History and College Marshal, opened the ceremony and invited President Thomas M. O’Reilly, M.B.A., to give welcoming remarks.


Thomas M. O’Reilly, M.B.A.,
President of the College

After thanking Pine Manor College’s community members, Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, and friends and families of the graduating class, President O’Reilly addressed the graduates: “To the graduates of Pine Manor College, thank you, thank you!  You have had the commitment to try your best, the persistence to continue, and the vision to know that you could become college graduates. So to each of you, Thank you!”

Robert Shea, Ph.D.,
Vice President for Academic Affairs

Robert Shea, Ph.D., followed President O’Reilly with welcoming words: “We all wish that circumstances would permit us to be together on campus today, and we promise that we will again celebrate your significant achievements in person when circumstances permit us to do so safely. But despite the challenges with which we are collectively presented, maintaining academic traditions and recognizing the significant achievements of our students remains vitally important even if we must do so virtually.”

Alma Mater

Lisa Rodrigues ’06, M.Ed.,
Dean of Student Affairs, read the College’s Alma Mater.

You may read the Alma Mater in this link.


An inspirational Invocation was given
by Rev. Janine Dailey, M.A., M.B.A., M.Div.,
Vice President of Advancement and Alumnae/i Relations

“…During these unprecedented times, we know this unique graduation will never be forgotten, and God we pray that the diversity of experiences during this time will manifest in ways that impact our nation for the greater good. We pray for our graduates as they prepare to become the next generation of leaders who are not afraid to stand up for social justice and racial inequalities, not afraid to take risks, and who are not afraid to embrace human differences.”

Alumnae/i Greeting

Jose Paolino ’16, 
Senior Mental Health Counselor, Bournewood Health Systems

“I know you’re ready! I say that because I wasn’t sure that I am when I sat in your seat. It’s your moment. Look back at the struggles that got you here, embrace them and remind yourself – You did it!”

Commencement Poem

Lisa J. Sullivan, MFA ’16,
Poetry Instructor at the Plymouth Center for the Arts, Poetry Editor for Pink Panther Magazine, 
Associate Poetry Editor for Lily Poetry Review Books

Read Lisa’s poem here.

Awarding of
Honorary Degrees

Lise Chin Leist ‘73,
Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees,
presented the Honorary Degree to Dr. Keith Motley.

For Dr. Keith Motley Citation Click here

Keith Motley, Ph.D.,
Professor, Chancellor Emeritus, UMass Boston,
accepted the
Honorary Degree in a speech.


“The hardest thing in society today is to try to be yourself, in a world where everyone around is telling you to be like somebody else… Be passionately outraged. Think big and fight big.”

Robert Utzschneider,
Chair of the Board of Trustees,
presented the Honorary Degree to President Thomas M. O’Reilly.

For Thomas M. O’Reilly Citation Click here

Thomas M. O’Reilly, M.B.A.,
President of the College,
accepted the Honorary Degree in a speech.


“… As I often say, it takes a village. I’ve been able to serve only because of the critically important roles that others have played.”

Recognition of
Faculty and Staff

Ruth Allinger Gibson ’26 Award for Teaching Excellence 

Sandra McElroy, Ed.D., 
Professor of Early Childhood: Education, Health and Leadership

Pam Palmer Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Support of Student Success  

Ross Merlin, M.Ed., 
Student Success Coach

Lindsey Professorship 
Shelley Linso, MFA, 
Assistant Professor of English: Creative Writing and Literature
Wean Professorship 
Sandra McElroy, Ed.D., 
Professor of Early Childhood: Education, Health and Leadership
Rosario Tosiello Award for Integrity in Scholarship 
Deborah Kronenberg, MFA
Assistant Professor of Theatre and Performing Arts
Recognition of Retiring Faculty Member in Biology 
Susan Bear, Ph.D., 
Professor Emerita 

Distinguished Service Awards

Oscar R. Aldana Landverde, 
Kitchen Supervisor, Aladdin Dining Service 

Indhira C. Ovalles Mejia, 
Production Cook, Aladdin Dining Service
Anthony E. Dedek, 
Food Service Director, Aladdin Dining Service

Senior Class Speaker

Wendy Myrbell Napoleon ’19
Psychology & English: Creative Writing and Literature

When I say that my journey wasn’t easy and the people at Pine Manor College made it easy, I truly mean it! …We are only as strong as the support system we have. I challenge everyone to express gratitude to those who have walked with us. While it wasn’t easy, believe it or not, they carried that weight with us.”

Student Honors and Awards

Pine Manor College Faculty Award 

Cindy Abdalla ’20
English: Creative Writing and Literature

Jane French McCall Dill ’39 Exemplary Achievement Award 

Danielle Sturgeon ’19 

Pine Manor College Award 

Wendy Myrbell Napoleon ’19
Psychology & English: Creative Writing and Literature

President’s Cup

Feven Bedard-Khalid ’20
Business and Management

Presentations by Department Chairs

Colleen Krieser, Ph.D. – Biology
Joseph Fargnoli, M.S. – Business and Management
Sandra McElroy, Ed.D – Early Childhood: Education, Health and Leadership
Hannah Baker-Siroty, MFA – English: Creative Writing and Literature
Deborah Kronenberg, MFA – Theatre and Performing Arts
Michele Ramirez, Ph.D. – Psychology
Kelly DeFao, J.D. – Sociology and Political Science
Rachel Loischild, MFA – Visual Arts
Robert Shea, Ph.D. – Communication

Conferring of Degrees

Thomas M. O’Reilly, M.B.A., President of the College  

Robert Shea, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs 


William Stargard, Ph.D., College Marshal, Professor of Art History