For the first time in several years, all Niagara University students were able to conclude their undergraduate careers at the same place they started them: Monteagle Ridge.
Since moving graduation off campus in 1976 in favor of more spacious locales, undergraduate commencement has occurred on Monteagle Ridge only on rare and special occasions. Bringing the ceremony back to NU meant that three commencement events had to be scheduled — two on May 12 for undergraduates and one on May 13 for graduate students. All exercises took place on the upper level of the Gallagher Center.
“It was really cool to have graduation on campus, considering that this place has been our second home for the last four years,” said Derek Zeller, a communication studies graduate. “Graduating from college would obviously be exciting no matter where it was held, but having it here is definitely special.”
Niagara’s colleges of Business Administration and Hospitality & Tourism Management heard from Tom Ashbrook, an award-winning journalist and host of National Public Radio’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Ashbrook and James Boldt, ’73, chairman and C.E.O. of Computer Task Group, received honorary degrees during the morning ceremony.
In the afternoon, NU’s colleges of Arts &Sciences and Education were addressed by Sylvia Nasar, best known as the author of A Beautiful Mind. She and Robert Clune, Esq., ’58, managing partner of Williamson Clune & Stevens, were presented with honorary degrees.
Lloyd Robertson, the retired chief anchor and senior editor of CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson, delivered the graduate address and was the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. HGTV’s Mike Holmes was presented with an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy at the event.
On the Friday preceding Commencement Weekend, Niagara University hosted a number of events intended to bring the community together, including a Mass, a Senior Gala, and the first-ever Senior Class Celebration, during which Andrew Siedlecki, who graduated with a degree in biology, was presented with the prestigious Niagara Medal.
“It was wonderful to be able to celebrate the great achievements of our students together as one family — on campus,” said the Rev. Joseph L.Levesque, C.M., NU president. “I want to thank everyone who was involved in making the weekend successful, and I am hopeful that this will become an annual tradition for Niagara University.”
For videos from the ceremonies, visit http://news.niagara.edu/videos/?pg=3.