Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2023

On Saturday, May 20 in front of historic Alumni Hall, 453 members of the Saint Anselm College class of 2023 were celebrated for academic achievement during the 130th Commencement Exercises.

Fifteen students in the college’s second graduate school class for the 4+1 Master of Arts in Criminal Justice program also received their diplomas.

The college celebrated the first graduating class in the Master in Education with Special Education Licensure program, with 2 students receiving their diplomas.

College President Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D. reflected on the multidimensional nature of learning at Saint Anselm, and how that has prepared the class of 2023 to embark on their transformational post-graduate journey.

Your experiences are so rich and varied. As you commence from this Hilltop, the challenge is to reflect deeply about all of your experiences, within and beyond the classroom, connect them with interests and abilities, and then tell the most compelling story about yourself that companies, non-profits, graduate programs, service organizations all will be lining up at your door to invite you to join them. If there is one thing that I am absolutely confident about, it is your future.

— Joseph A. Favazza, Ph.D.

Video: Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2023 (Livestream Recording)

Video: Class of 2023 Senior Honors Convocation and Baccalaureate Mass (Livestream Recording)

Photos: Class of 2023 Commencement Exercises

Photos: Master's in Criminology and Criminal Justice Hooding Ceremony

Photos: Master's in Special Education Hooding Ceremony

Photos: Military Commissioning

Photos: Senior Brunch, Convocation, and Baccalaureate

Speeches and Remarks

Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days?

Since we are here this afternoon, dressed in black gowns with cardboard caps on our heads, the class of 2023 must have answered yes to this question posed by Saint Benedict in his Rule for Monks.

We have spent our time here yearning...striving for a life filled with good days. Sure enough, today is THE good day.

Take a moment... skim through four years worth of these good days. When were they? What do they look like? What do they sound like? What did it take to get here today

Good days sometimes come easy here at Saint Anselm... BUT, other times there is no shortage of challenges.

Now, let’s transport back to your freshman year when we first heard that question. College life was new, we were trying to navigate classes, sample the C-shop menu, and calling home to ask if we really needed to separate our laundry. On top of all that, we had to take Conversatio and decipher The Rule of Saint Benedict to learn about Benedictine traditions..

While reading this, I admit I was unsure of the purpose. I mean, I am a female who is not overly religious and is aspiring to become a nurse. I could not become a why were we reading this?

Nevertheless we read Benedict’s Rule... or at least tried our best to decipher the meaning of what he was saying. All the while, we started to pick up speed and strive towards the good days ahead.

Friday the 13th happened. Spring 2020 college life screeched to a halt.

Classes canceled.

Sports canceled.

Church canceled.

Our community logged into Zoom.

We were thrown into isolation with masks across our faces. The only sound that rang
through the campus was the bells serving as a reminder that precious time was going by. What now?

We were pulled into silence and isolation that Spring. We had to bring what we had learned about Anselmian campus to our own homes. This change in volume gave us a unique opportunity to listen in a new way to grow in solitude.

In order to continue to yearn for life and desire to see good days, we had to listen with the ear of our heart, and seize the opportunity to do the physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual work to become the best versions of ourselves for future reunion as a campus community.

For some of us athletes, it looked like transforming logs and cinder blocks into at home gym equipment... by the way thanks, Dad... in hopes that someday we could make up for lost time when we put our navy and white Hawks uniforms back on. We learned as a campus that we are never entitled to college life, we are gifted this experience.

Our personal dedication to bettering ourselves strengthened our community and is validated by the good days you can reflect on today.

The class of 2023 overcame the adversity of isolation and persevered as sophomores despite restrictions such as social distancing, one way walking, and the reserved meal times at Dave.

Our sports teams across the board set new records with winning seasons. The Hawks
consistently secured spots in NE-10 and NCAA playoff brackets. Numerous athletes in this class were honored with awards and conference recognition.

Our student nurses became vaccinated early to work in the hospital setting while navigating a pandemic.

As a campus, we came together to fulfill Liam’s Make a Wish in the Fall of 2021 parading campus with the men’s soccer team.

Our Meelia Center flourishes with in person and remote community outreach.
We continue to pack the Carr Center during Relay for Life where we donate our time, money, and hair for those affected by Cancer.

If nothing else, this class never forgot how to celebrate good days in Uppers during a blizzard or the first day over 60 degrees. Remember to cherish the abundance of good days here.

Whether we knew it as little freshmen or not, this tiny red book is the blueprint for the Anselmian experience. There is something special about this place...people are good here, days are good here, life is good here... and it truly comes back to the fundamental concepts of putting in work to achieve an abundance of good days.

Education and majors aside, we have learned how to make a life for ourselves and this realization is something that sneaks up on us and maybe you didn’t realize it until, well, today!

Maybe we won’t be joining the monastery after graduation. We have a different journey but we will still respond to Saint Benedict’s question with humility and understanding of how to truly listen to ourselves and others. We will start to make a life for ourselves.

As you leave today, you will eventually return to a state of solitude. Fear not, you have
done this before and thrived from it. Remember what the little red book told us, yearn for life and desire to see good days.

This is why we will continue to yearn for good days, to be hard workers, and good people, the kind who always hold doors open for people. When the day comes when you are lost, alone, and you want to go back to the good old days, remember that we can rely on the lessons we have learned here, from the little red book.

Today, we will have to drive away from this campus as graduates. Maybe our four or five year journey is over, but now we can take home what it means to be truly Anselmian.

One last word of advice from 15 centuries ago, “do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road that leads to salvation. It is bound to be narrowed at the outset. But as we progress in this way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path with our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.”

With a heart overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love, I wish you all a lifetime of good days! Congratulations to the Class of 2023!