ALLEGANY, N.Y.-Some 466 undergraduates and 243 graduate students received their degrees during the St. Bonaventure University commencement at the Reilly Center Arena on May 14.
R. Kerry Clark, CEO of Cardinal Health Inc., and former director of Proctor & Gamble’s family health business, said he can recognize deep ties between the Bonaventure community and its humble Franciscan beginnings.
“I was sincerely moved by the strength of Franciscan values – humility, inquiry, compassion, and justice,” he said.
“To me, one value stands out: that’s the importance of going out into the world, and doing so with respect for other people, creatures and the earth itself. And it strikes me that you, having spent these past four years steeped in Franciscan perspective, are uniquely qualified to take your places as good travelers in the world,” he said.
At the Baccalaureate Mass on May 13, Daniel Riley told the students in his homily, “It’s a time of departure, a time of learning. The simple line is there – ‘Get up and go.’ ”
Eight members of the graduating class and one faculty member were recognized during the Mass for their post-Commencement volunteer service plans.
“I’m looking to volunteer with Good Shepherd Volunteers,” said Rebecca Dahl, a journalism/mass communication major with a minor in business administration from Buffalo. “I’m hoping to be working in New York City with their program doing work for a fair trade organization called Handcrafting for Justice. The program would be for one year beginning in August.”
The other seven students are volunteering with various organizations, including Hands On U.S.A., doing construction work in Mississippi, followed by work with the Peace Corps; Covenant House; the American Red Cross; Change A Heart program, working with young children in Pittsburgh; MercyWorks in Chicago; the Colorado Vincentian Volunteers in Denver; and the Millvale Franciscan Sisters.
Dr. Patricia Parsley, assistant professor of biology and past chair of the Department of Biology, was also recognized as she retires from her position to join her husband, the Rev. James Snodgrass, currently pastor of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Olean, in retreat ministry. They plan to develop a retreat and conference, working through la Iglesia Episcopal Puertorriqueña in Aibonito, Puerto Rico.
“See who you are and be who you are – the body of Christ,” Dan told the students in the Mass. “Get ready to be bold, beautiful and brilliant, because the world needs you to be that way.”
Sister Margaret Carney, university president, reminded seniors that their life’s journey will continue with their now-permanent Franciscan roots.
“Remember that you are now a part of the Franciscan story, ’til death do us part,” she said.