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Abbot Matthew Leavy Urges Saint Anselm Grads to Live and Love Generously

May 19, 2012

Laurie Morrissey
Communications and Marketing
(603) 656-6047

Goffstown, N.H. -- The 386 members of the Saint Anselm College Class of 2012 were awarded bachelor's degrees on the quad at the college's 119th commencement exercises May 19.

2012 CommencementAbbot Matthew Leavy, O.S.B., Chancellor of Saint Anselm College, delivered the commencement address. The abbot has served as both chancellor of the college and abbot of Saint Anselm Abbey since 1986, and is retiring from both positions on June 5.

Isaac Saidel-Goley, a psychology major from Bedford, N.H., received the Chancellor’s Award for the graduate with the highest academic average. Dr. Ward Holder, professor of theology, received the award for excellence in faculty accomplishment. 

While touching on the beauty of the campus and the spring day, Abbot Matthew Leavy’s words encouraged graduates to look at a more unique and exotic place, “this inner, sacred space where you make sense out of things through deeper understanding.”

“Return to this space to make sense of things and to make decisions that will affect you, your family, children, your parents, and far beyond,” he advised. “Fellow Anselmians, life is about decision. Do not succumb to the subtle temptation to live by default. You deserve more, you are capable of more. You have been endowed with so much more.”

“In fact, you have been given too much for you to use for yourself alone. The education received here was expensive but is meant to be expansive. Your space within—your heart—is meant to expand, as Saint Benedict reminds us. It is meant to stretch, not shrink; to stretch in service to others. Always live and love generously.”

Before awarding the diplomas, College President Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., saluted the accomplishments of the class. He noted that “being an Anselmian” did not end for them upon graduation, reminding them always to “do something worthwhile rather than something easy; to make the right choice, even when it’s difficult to do so. Being an Anselmian means that words like learning, commitment, spirit, community, service, and faith are always part of not only your vocabulary, but your life.”

Liam Concannon, a politics major from West Roxbury, Mass., also addressed the graduates. To his classmates who hope to have a positive impact in their respective fields, he acknowledged that the challenges can appear overwhelming. He encouraged them to focus instead on what they can do for one individual.

“The task we are given is not to take on the world …but to focus on its smallest component, the individual,” he said. “Help just one child comprehend math. Help diagnose just one elderly man with an early case of pneumonia. Help the finances of just one struggling family.”

Abbot Matthew Leavy, O.S.B., received an honorary doctorate of human letters from Saint Anselm College. Honorary degrees also were awarded to Marcia Sink, founder and executive director of Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) New Hampshire, and William Tucker, Esq., of the Manchester law firm Wadleigh Starr.

Seven members of the class were unable to participate in the ceremony as they were representing Saint Anselm College in the NCAA Division II East Regional Baseball Championship. Father Jonathan noted, “Though we miss them here, we wish them a great game and an even greater victory! Go Hawks!”

The seven in absentia members of the class would be awarded their degrees in a separate ceremony at 7:30 p.m.

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