Morristown, N.J. (May 12, 2018) – Three hundred and sixty-one students graduated from the College of Saint Elizabeth at its 116th Commencement on Saturday, May 12 at Mennen Arena. The class of 2018 is the first to include male graduates from CSE's traditional undergraduate program.
In her welcoming remarks, Dr. Helen J. Streubert, president of CSE, applauded the hard work of the College's graduates and thanked the Sisters of Charity and CSE's Board of Trustees for their guidance and generosity.
"Here at the College of Saint Elizabeth, we see it as our fundamental duty to teach our students how to serve others," says Streubert. "Never forget this fundamental gift that you have been given through your education; to live, to love and learn with those you come to serve. Together you will be an incredible force to change the world."
"You have a received a precious gift in earning your education," said Sister Rosemary Moynihan, chair of the board of trustees. "A great majority of people in the world, particularly women, are desperately seeking an education and often put their lives at risk to attain this."
Keynote speaker, Ernesto A. Tolentino, M.D., a surgeon with over 45 years of experience, spoke about how CSE shaped the life of his late wife, Shirley Ann Hayes Tolentino, '65. After graduating, Shirley's education and dedication to improving the world enabled her to become the first female minority Superior Court Judge in the state of New Jersey.
"Shirley sat in your seats 53 years ago with the same dreams and ambitions you have today," says Tolentino. "Just believe in yourself and you can make them all come true."
Student speaker Jendaya Workman,'18, a biology major from Brooklyn, N.Y., then described the "blueprint of a legend." In order to be successful, she explained, students must practice self-care, surround themselves with positive people and lead with integrity.
"It is crucial to have faith in yourself. Successful people believe in themselves," says Workman. "Do not hold yourself back from becoming who you are meant to be. Often, we are our own biggest enemies, but today I urge you to be your biggest ally."
The continuing studies speaker, Nneka Emenaka, '18, from Maplewood, N.J., worked three jobs while she was earning her B.S. in nursing at the College. Her speech illustrated how CSE's close-knit community and individualized attention allowed her to flourish.
"As students of CSE, we have been granted the opportunity to be seen as individuals and not be dismissed as mere numbers," says Emenaka. "We were awarded the convenience of being heard in our classrooms and not having our voices drown in a sea of a hundred others."
Alumnae/i Association President Jennifer Hanselman, '93, inducted the graduates into the Alumnae/i Association.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018!