Taking on a New Role

Photography by Kat Wade

In joyful ceremonies on May 24 and 25, Saint Mary's College saluted more than 600 undergraduate and 200 graduate students.

“We have reason to be proud of you graduates,” Brother President Ronald Gallagher said in his invocation at the 145th Undergraduate Commencement at the stadium on a chilly Saturday morning. “You are prepared to represent Saint Mary's to the world, and indeed, the world needs you.”

NBC-11 news anchor Laura Garcia-Cannon '91 told graduates in her commencement address that they could depend on SMC and all its graduates, remarking “Gaels don't fail.” She said words of encouragement from communication professors Kusum Singh and Ed Tywoniak helped her throughout her journalism career, which started at the College's radio station.

Garcia-Cannon called on this year's graduates to apply the lessons of their Lasallian education to the professional and personal challenges they encounter after Saint Mary's.

“You have it in you to do whatever you want in life,” she said. “I see a sea of success stories in the Class of 2008.”

Valedictorian Emily Robbins, one of dozens of students to receive awards at commencement, related how the College has helped her and her classmates face the world with confidence.
“We've learned more at Saint Mary's than we could ever have expected,” Robbins said. “We are taking a new role in our society as of today. We are the leaders.”

On Sunday in McKeon Pavilion, Margaret Norris, assistant director of student services for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District, told graduates of graduate and adult bachelor's degree programs and the School of Education that they had “fought the good fight of academia.”

“The world is your stage,” she said. “I would like to challenge you to consider which role you will play or continue to play. Your experience at Saint Mary's has prepared you for leadership.”