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.
Abbot 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.
Today you take another step, entering more deeply into what it means to be an Anselmian. But it does not end today. No, for the rest of your life, you are now called to do something worthwhile rather than something easy; to make the right choice, even when it's difficult to do so; to know where you are going, and never forget where you've been. 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.
So, this is it. We're here and it is time to remember the past and receive some advice for the future. It is time to ask the big questions. The one that really comes to my mind is "Have you ever seen a Starfish? I mean really seen it? It is by far one of the oddest looking living creatures in this world, like maybe the attachable end to some kind of tool that you would clean your bathroom. Odd as it may be, the starfish is the source of one of the most influential lessons in my life. It's a very common story, and I am sure many of you have heard it before, but it is worth repeating here before we step up on this stage and then take our leave of one another.
And to you, members of the Class of 2012, actually my fellow classmates, now that I too have received an Anselmian degree, my sincere congratulations. I am honored to join you in receiving our Anselmian degrees together today. But remember, you received yours after only four short years of work, it has taken me 30 years of working here at Saint Anselm to get mine!
Ordinarily, commencement speakers are chosen from outside the life of the college. They are often famous for their work and their contributions to society. They typically speak about what it will take for you to be successful in the domains of work and life in the so-called "real world" you are about to enter. Sometimes the speaker is actually a celebrity of sorts. Exactly 35 years ago here at Saint Anselm it was Bob Hope who delivered the commencement address. Bob Hope?!! (Come on parents, bail me out!)