Commencement 2011 Celebrates Graduates, Honorees
May 14, 2011
Emmanuel College conferred nearly 650 degrees to bachelor's and master's candidates during its 89th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14th. This was the largest graduating class in Emmanuel's history. The College also honored James Roosevelt, Jr., the president and chief executive officer of Tufts Health Plan, Angela Faletra Menino, first lady of the city of Boston, and Malcolm Rogers, the Ann and Graham Gund director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
In the opening remarks of the ceremony, College President Sister Janet Eisner, SND commended members of the Class of 2011 for working together to make Emmanuel the vibrant place it is today.
"When I welcomed you in the fall of 2007, you took to heart your Orientation theme, ‘We're All in This Together'," she said. "As involved students and leaders you created new organizations to ensure everyone had a place at the College. You pledged to make service to others a hallmark of your class and you volunteered often in the Boston community, and in other areas of the country."
Sister Janet further commended the graduates for their various academic achievements, including publishing their work in professional journals and presenting their research and scholarship at conferences across the country. Graduate Studies student Rachel Glisper and undergraduate student Alexandra Gattineri Nigro '11 also addressed the crowd, highlighting their experiences as Emmanuel students and congratulating all on their accomplishments.
Two members of the Emmanuel College faculty were recognized during the ceremony: Assistant Professor of Biology Todd Williams and Professor of Nursing Joan Riley. Williams was honored with the Faculty Excellence Award while Riley was conferred the rank of Professor Emeritus. Riley is the first Nursing Emeritus in Emmanuel's history, having served the College for the past 19 years and building the nursing program into what it is today. Sister Janet spoke of the admiration for Riley's leadership in the field of ethics in nursing as well as her deep commitment to students and the mission of Emmanuel.
Mr. Roosevelt, grandson of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, delivered the Commencement Address and received an honorary degree. During his address, Mr. Roosevelt encouraged the graduates to "commit to something that stirs [their] passion" and to share their gifts with others. He reminded them not to fear failure for the valuable lessons it could provide them all in life.
"Failure is only temporary," he said. "Failure allows you to recalibrate...and to redirect your energy."
Mr. Roosevelt has enjoyed a distinguished career in law, business and government. Prior to joining Tufts Health Plan in 1999 as senior vice president and general counsel, he was associate commissioner for Retirement Policy for the Social Security Administration in Washington D.C. Mr. Roosevelt spent 10 years as a partner at Choate, Hall and Stewart in Boston. He has served as chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and currently serves on the Change Commission of the Democratic National Committee. In November 2008, President-elect Barack Obama appointed Mr. Roosevelt to his transition team to co-chair a review of the Social Security Administration. Mr. Roosevelt has served on the Emmanuel College Board of Trustees for over two decades. He earned his A.B. with honors in government from Harvard College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Honorary degrees were also awarded to Angela Menino and Malcolm Rogers. Mrs. Menino, the first lady of Boston since 1993, has had an indelible impact on the city, working as a public advocate for the citizens of Boston, including women, children, the elderly and the homeless. A founding member of the City of Boston Women's Commission and the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, she also serves as a board member for Dress for Success Boston, as the honorary chair of Rebuilding Together Boston, on the advisory committees for Women's Lunch Place and the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus, and as a frequent collaborator with Women of Means. She regularly engages in events sponsored by Park ARTS, Read Boston, the Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester, One Family and hopeFound. In addition to her public service and her role as mother of two and grandmother of six, Mrs. Menino has balanced an accounting career at John Hancock Financial for over 40 years.
Since 1994, Mr. Rogers has led the museum in welcoming new audiences to the MFA, expanding its encyclopedic collection, enhancing arts education, and bringing a variety of exhibitions to Boston of national and international importance. Under his leadership, the MFA has become a more vibrant institution, which welcomes over one million visitors each year. This past fall, the MFA completed its most ambitious building project, which included the opening of the acclaimed American Wing. Mr. Rogers served as deputy director and deputy keeper at the National Portrait Gallery in London before assuming his current role at the MFA. A native of England, Mr. Rogers was educated at Oxford University where he received both a B.A. in English Language and Literature as well as a D.Phil.