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    That magic moment. Mount Saint Mary’s University wrapped its 90th anniversary with its annual Commencement ceremony, held May 9 at Los Angeles’ historic Shrine Auditorium. Overall this year, the University awarded 192 associate in arts, 647 bachelor’s, 213 master’s and 28 doctoral degrees.

    2016 Mount Saint Mary’s graduates: better yourselves, better the world

     
    Mount Saint Mary’s University wrapped its 90th anniversary with its annual Commencement ceremony, held May 9 at Los Angeles’ historic Shrine Auditorium. President Ann McElaney-Johnson welcomed 701 graduates from the Class of 2016 who walked the stage at Commencement.  

    More than 6,000 students, faculty, family members and friends attended the ceremony. Overall this year, the University awarded 192 associate in arts, 647 bachelor’s, 213 master’s and 28 doctoral degrees.

    “I feel a special connection to our graduates,” said President McElaney-Johnson. “As did so many of you here today, I came as a new member of the Mount Saint Mary’s community four years ago. During our time here, we chartered a strategic plan that I believe will serve you well as alumnae. It invites you to a life of meaning—a life that matters.

    “God bless you as you continue your educational journey to use your knowledge and skills to better yourselves, your environment and the world.”

    Commencement keynote speaker Lucy Jones, scientist emerita with the U.S. Geological Survey and a visiting research associate at the California Institute of Technology, echoed that sentiment, saying “You are heading out into the world – into our community – to make a life for yourself. Everything you do for yourself will be a thread in the fabric of our community. In helping yourself, you help all of us.” 

    During her distinguished career, Jonesdefied gender stereotypes to become one of the world’s most recognizable and influential seismologists and the leading voice of earthquake science and earthquake safety. She retired in April 2016 after a 33-year career with the U.S.G.S. where she directed a team whose work led to the annual Great ShakeOut earthquake disaster drill that last year involved more than 21 million Americans.

    Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet receive the Mount’s top award 
    The Mount awarded its highest honor, the Carondelet Medal, to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, the University’s founders and shapers of Mount Saint Mary’s enduring mission. The award was presented in recognition of their personal and professional achievements, their contributions to enhancing the lives of students through their dedication and support of Catholic education, and the foresight of the founding sisters who 90 years ago laid the groundwork for the University.

    Tribute Speaker Bathsheba Zewde challenges fellow graduates 
    Representing the baccalaureate graduating class, Bathsheba Zewde ‘16, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, called on fellow graduates to make a difference:

    “Let’s not let history repeat itself in our generation. Let’s make genocide, oppression and racism things of the past…Let’s declare ‘not in my generation.’ Rape, human trafficking and injustice will not progress in my generation. Homelessness, poverty and alienation will not progress in my generation. Hate, bitterness and agony will not progress in my generation. If hate was able to bring this much destruction, let’s not underestimate the intensity with which love can reconstruct this world.” 

    Tribute speakers representing the Mount’s other degree programs were:

     

    • Associate of arts – Angelica Frias, associate’s degree, pre-health;
    • Weekend/Evening College – Kimberley Couture, bachelor’s degree, liberal arts; and
    • Graduate Division – Chad James, master’s degree, business administration.

     

    Graduation day festivities kicked off with a morning Graduation Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, located adjacent to the Doheny Campus, in which Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez delivered the homily and a special graduate blessing.  

    For a look at the Commencement festivities, visit the Mount’s Facebook page