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Convocation 2014

Convocation 2014


On Thursday, September 4th 2014, on a beautiful sunny day, the Pine Manor College community came together to celebrate the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year.

Professor William Stargard, College Marshal, led the speakers and opened the ceremony.


President Joseph Lee, Ph.D., welcomed new and returning students to Pine Manor’s 104th year. The President congratulated the class of 2018, and acknowledged that this incoming class is the largest PMC class in recent years. The President then reassured all students that they would find Pine Manor College to be a supportive and welcoming community, eager to see every student succeed. Dr. Lee spoke about the dedicated and devoted Pine Manor faculty, known for their quality of teaching and mentoring as well as the relationships and bonds they develop with students. He encouraged the students to get to know their professors and take advantage of the many opportunities that Pine Manor has to offer.

The ceremony presented three speakers – Margaret Sweeney Krippendorf (’96), General Counsol, Norfolk District Attorney’s Office; Professor Diane Mello-Goldner, Dean of the College; and Craig Hutchinson, Dean of Student Affairs. Each spoke to the power and inspiration of a Pine Manor College education and our community.

Margaret (Peggy) Sweeney Krippendorf ’96 described the path she took from her time as a student at Pine Manor to her current position as General Counsel for Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey. Peggy demonstrated how the education she received empowered her to find her career path through the various classes, commitments and activities she participated in at Pine Manor. “As I Look back,” She concluded, “there is no question in my mind that my success is attributable to the skills and confidence I obtained here at Pine Manor College. (…) It was here that I learned that I learned that if you want to be successful you must work hard, but if you work hard – good things will happen for you. ” She continued with five tips for the entering class:

  • Tip 1. Challenge yourself academically – She encouraged all students to choose classes that are helpful and challenging.
  • Tip 2. Internships, Internships, Internships – Peggy advised the students to participate in as many internships as one can because “it is your responsibility to discover what it is you would like to do.”
  • Tip 3. Participate in School Activities – I was passionate about basketball but it doesn’t have to be Athletics, it could be Theatre, or Club activities… It’s a great way to meet people and gain self-discipline.
  • Tip 4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – Pine Manor Staff and Faculty is here to see you succeed, and will help guide you in the right direction, so take advantage of their talent and wisdom.
  • Tip 5. Enjoy College – “I feel old saying that, because old people always said that to me, but it is true. Without a doubt, these next four years will be some of the most memorable years of your life.”

Professor Mello-Goldner thanked the students for awarding her the Ruth Allinger Gibson Teaching Award. “I was deeply honored to win this award, which is selected by the students. I am strongly committed to my students as well as to the success of Pine Manor College, and receiving this award made me aware that my students also see my commitment.” Professor Mello-Goldner shared her own personal college application story and her own perseverance. She concluded: “The moral of my story is: Don’t ever let other people’s expectations of you influence your own behavior and attitude!” Professor Mello-Goldner, following a PMC tradition of giving a small gift to the entering class, presented two gifts: a door hanger with a Chinese Proverb: “Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.”, and a Pine Manor pennant. She encouraged everyone display the gifts and to take pride in being a Gator.

The final speaker was Pine Manor’s Dean of Student Affairs, Mr. Craig Hutchinson. Mr. Hutchinson addressed two main ideas that are central to life at Pine Manor College: Community and Respect. Mr. Hutchinson encouraged everyone to reach out and become an active and engaged member of the community. He described the goals and efforts of the Student Affairs team to ensure a safe and welcoming experience for all students.


Professor Stargard concluded the ceremony and invited the audience to join in for refreshments and conversation with faculty and staff.

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