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Graduates Urged to Demand More from Politics

May 17, 2014

Laurie Morrissey
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

Saint Anselm College graduates at the 121st commecnement exercisesDuring Saint Anselm College's 121st commencement exercises on Saturday, May 17, commencement speaker Bob Schieffer addressed 417 members of the class of 2014, and Dr. Steven DiSalvo presided over his first commencement as president.

Dr. DiSalvo thanked the class for making his first year at Saint Anselm a special one, and reminded the graduands that no matter where their journeys take them, they are always welcome on campus. He advised graduates, "While the world around us may move at a rapid speed, I urge you to remember all of those Saint Anselm hours, and find time to cultivate those habits that made your time with us so special."

Bob Schieffer, the award-winning journalist who was the anchor and moderator of the CBS News' Sunday broadcast, "Face the Nation," recalled his many visits to New Hampshire, starting during the 1976 presidential primary season. He has covered nine primaries in the state, and last visited Saint Anselm College in 2007.

"You learn a lot about people reading polls and statistics about them, but you'll never know them as well as when you look into their faces," he said. "That's why I still like to come to New Hampshire, where politicians still have to get out and actually meet people."

While decrying a political system that has become ineffective, and the challenges facing the country both at home and abroad, he urged the graduating class to take heart and not turn away from public service.

"You must demand more from our politics and yourselves. Remember that as tangled up as our politics is today, it has been tangled up before-yet when we step back, we realize that most of the change we experienced at the close of the 20th century was good."

"For all the bad news, the human spirit still prevails," he said. "But it does so only so long as good people are there to nourish and defend it." Read Schieffer's full speech »

Emily Donovan, an education studies major from Braintree, Mass., addressed her fellow graduates. The second child in her family to graduate from the college, she said that when her brother becomes a freshman this fall, it will fulfill her late father's wish for all three of his children to be Anselmians. Read Donovan's full address »

Photos: Commencement 2014


Lyndsay Robinson of Tewksbury, Mass., received the President's Award for Service and Citizenship. In her four years on campus, Robinson was a leader, role model, and activist said Dr. DiSalvo. "She exemplifies what it means to be Anselmian."

Justin Eckilson of Woonsocket, R.I., with a G.P.A. of 3.96, received the Chancellor's Award for the graduate with the highest academic average.

English professor Meoghan Cronin received the award for excellence in faculty accomplishment. She joined the faculty in 1993, and specializes in teaching romantic and Victorian literature.

Honorary doctorates were presented to Bob Schieffer, Richard J. Meelia, and Sr. Sheila O'Neill, ASJC.

Bob Schieffer received an Honorary Doctorate of Journalism.

Richard J. Meelia, a Saint Anselm College trustee, member of the college's class of 1971, and former chairman, president and CEO of Covidien, received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws. Meelia has been a strong supporter of the students' service activities, and the college's center for community engagement bears his name.

Sister Sheila O'Neill, ASJC, Ph.D., first president of Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, Conn., received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.

Video: Commencement 2014