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Sheehan Encourages Graduates to Show Anselmian Compassion

May 21, 2016

Michelle Adams O'Regan
Communications and Marketing
(603) 641-7240

Commencement address by alumnus Michael SheehanDuring Saint Anselm College's 123rd commencement exercises on Saturday, May 21, commencement speaker and alumnus Michael Sheehan addressed 433 members of the class of 2016, asking them to bring the Anselmian traditions of compassion and kindness into the world.

Sheehan, a 1982 graduate and 2011 honorary degree recipient of Saint Anselm College, is the Chief Executive Officer of The Boston Globe and former award-winning Chairman, CEO, President and Chief Creative Officer of Hill Holliday, one of the largest advertising agencies in the country.

In an address to graduates infused with characteristic humor, Sheehan spoke about what makes Saint Anselm unique. From his initial experiences as a young transfer student who found Saint Anselm somewhat haphazardly, his appreciation for the college has grown over time. However, he said that it wasn't until several more recent life experiences that he fully understood what it means to be Anselmian.

Through his work on the One Fund Boston relief effort, which supported healing for the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing, as well as his appreciation of the care his father received during a hospital stay from Saint Anselm nursing alumni, he discovered that service, kindness, and compassion are defining characteristics.

"For me, serving other people, more specifically helping people heal, is what it means to be an Anselmian," said Sheehan.

He reminded graduates that no matter what their major or career prospects, they will meet people who need help, and charged them to always offer comfort and healing. "You are an Anselmian, and like those Saint Anselm alums who, with great compassion, comforted my Dad at Mass General at two and three in the morning, I know you will nurture and heal them," he said.

Graduate Nicholas Bompastore received Chancellor's Medal for highest GPAFollowing the pomp and circumstance of the procession and invocation, Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo, college president, congratulated the class of 2016. He noted that on this day they not only celebrate their accomplishments, but also reflect upon all the moments that led them to this happy occasion. From global events to on-campus experiences, the past four years have shaped them and will continue to impact their futures, he said.

"Our society will only continue to be enhanced by your talents in the years to come," said Dr. DiSalvo. "You now hold the keys to make our world a better place. After all, you enter it with a Saint Anselm College degree."

Student speaker Kristine E. Adams, an international relations and Spanish double major and politics minor from Alton, New Hampshire, addressed her class with a similar sentiment.

"Despite the uncertainty of the future; we will meet the challenges that arise, because Saint Anselm College has been preparing us for this very day for the past three years and eight months and 28 days," said Adams.

Nicholas J. Bompastore of Londonderry, New Hampshire, with a G.P.A. of 3.967 received the Chancellor's Award for the graduate with the highest academic average.

Graduate Jeffrey Boyle was commissioned into U.S. Marine CorpsChemistry professor George Parodi received the award for excellence in faculty accomplishment for his commitment to his colleagues and the college. He joined the faculty in 1988 and specializes in teaching physical chemistry.

The college conferred honorary degrees upon:

  • Paul Montrone, Ph.D., Chairman of Perspecta Trust LLC, and Liberty Lane Partners
  • Charles Pollard '79, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Omni Air International
  • Sister Maxyne Schneider, S.S.J., President of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield

Earlier in the day, business major Jeffrey Boyle from Manchester, New Hampshire, earned his commissioning into the United States Marine Corps. In an emotional ceremony on the college quad, Boyle repeated the Officer Oath of Office from his father, Colonel Gregory Boyle '81, a Saint Anselm College alumnus and U.S. Marine, officially authorizing the graduate's appointment as a Marine Corps Officer. Following the commissioning ceremony, Boyle's mother, alumna Leeann (Auger) Boyle '82, and his grandmother pinned on him a 2nd Lieutenant rank insignia worn by his father 35 years ago. Jeffrey's grandfather, Major Edward Boyle '79, a retired Marine and Saint Anselm alumnus, presented his grandson with a small 2nd Lieutenant rank insignia that he wore in 1966.

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Story by Laura Lemire

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