Plymouth State University awarded 860 undergraduate degrees May 21 during their 140th Commencement in a ceremony moved indoors due to inclement weather. Accompanied by a bagpiper, the graduating seniors and faculty marched into venues at the Foley Gymnasium, the Hartman Union Building and the Silver Center for the Arts to celebrate the class of 2011.
|PSU President Sara Jayne Steen|
The crowd of several thousand people was welcomed by PSU President Sara Jayne Steen, who acknowledged the graduates’ hard work and determination in earning a degree, and she urged them to use it to improve their future.
“You will have the opportunity granted to few people throughout human history – to earn your living doing something you genuinely love,” Steen said. “All of you here today are carrying other people’s dreams, as well as your own. You’ve worked hard to get this degree.you also have been given a great gift. Please use it well.”
Senior class President John East congratulated his classmates on their accomplishments, but urged them to never let go of their dreams.
|Betty and Dick Hanaway|
“It is time for us to take control of our lives, and be self motivated to achieve our dreams,” said East. “Your work is to discover the world, and with all of your heart, give yourself to it. Surround yourself with work and people that make you smile, and that is all you will ever need in life.”
PSU President Sara Jayne Steen, USNH Chancellor Edward MacKay and George Epstein, Vice Chair of the USNH Board of Trustees, presented Honorary Doctorates of Business to Dick and Betty Hanaway of Holderness for their notable business, civic and humanitarian accomplishments throughout the Lakes Region.
“Betty and I are proud to have been a part of the ongoing transformation of this region we love so much,” said Dick Hanaway. “We would like you to think that you, too, could join us in making a difference. It is with humility and a profound sense of gratitude that we accept these honorary degrees.”
Betty Hanaway thanked the University for the recognition, and then quoted Oliver Wendell Holmes, stating, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Grappone Automotive Group CEO and Plymouth State alum Larry Haynes then delivered the commencement address, advising the graduates to embrace the opportunities a college degree provides them, and never waste time.
“The one thing we do not get back in life is time, and when it’s gone, it’s gone forever,” Haynes said. “Be sure to embrace challenges -don’t shy away from them. Anyone can do the easy stuff. The more challenges you take on, the more you will learn and grow as a person.and keep both your eyes and your minds wide open.”
Other highlights of the 2011 Commencement ceremony include:
Lisa Travis, Faculty member in Music, Theatre, and Dance, received the Distinguished Teaching Award – Adjunct Faculty.
Irene Cucina, Professor of Health and Human Performance, received the Distinguished Teaching Award.
For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or firstname.lastname@example.org