Seniors Receive Inspiring Words of Love and Service at 170th Commencement

On May 20, 2,250 people gathered in Manhattan College’s Draddy Gymnasium to celebrate the graduation of more than 740 seniors.

See highlights from Sunday's Commencement ceremony:

On May 20, 2,250 people consisting of students, faculty, families and friends gathered in Manhattan College’s Draddy Gymnasium to celebrate the graduation of more than 740 seniors.

Seniors from the schools of arts, business, education, engineering and science processed through the doors of Draddy to mark the start of Manhattan College’s 170th undergraduate Commencement.

“It was a surreal moment knowing that tomorrow marked the beginning of the rest of my life,” said Amanda Ferrarotto ’12, who graduated with a B.A. in communication and economics and a minor in psychology.

The ceremony began with the introduction of Meredith Mayer, the 2012 recipient of the Donald J. Carty Valedictory Medal, by William Clyde, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost at Manhattan College and the master of ceremonies.

Mayer, who graduated with a B.S. in global business and marketing, encouraged her fellow classmates to, “seize opportunity from the things standing in your way. Find a need. Then find the solution. All of us have the tools and ability to succeed. We just have to be mad enough to use them.”

“Congratulations, class of 2012,” she finished. “Here’s to joining method with madness.”

After Mayer’s speech, Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College, presented Thomas O’Malley ’63, chairman of the College’s board of trustees and executive chairman of PBF Energy Company LLC, with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. O’Malley has served as chairman of Manhattan’s board of trustees for the past seven years.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who was elevated to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in February and has served as archbishop of New York since 2009, was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters before delivering his keynote address. 

“This is the day the Lord has made, so what do you say we rejoice and be glad in the achievements and now the daring plans and dreams of our beloved graduates,” Dolan opened.

He went on to discuss the importance of love and service to the graduates and said, “so here I trust graduates, you have learned to love, yes you have learned to love friends, learning itself, New York City, life itself, your field of study, but also I trust you have learned to love even better God and other people.”

Proud to accept his honorary Jasper status, Cardinal Dolan expressed to the students and audience what it means to be an alumna or alumnus of Manhattan College.

“As Archbishop of New York, I meet alumni of Manhattan College helping in our soup kitchens and homeless shelters, I see them teaching in our inner-city Catholic schools, I see them wheeling kids with cancer to their next MRI or blood test, I see them soothing the face of the dying at Calvary hospital, I see them as policemen and women walking the beat as a dedicated cop or advising a client on a morally upright way to invest his or her money. I see them as engineers helping to repair St. Patrick’s,” Cardinal Dolan concluded. “I have seen the data folks, Manhattan College teaches love.”

At the completion of Cardinal Dolan’s speech, deans from the College’s five schools honored graduates with their bachelor’s degrees diplomas.

President O’Donnell concluded the 170th Commencement with a farewell benediction for the class of 2012.

“Keep alive throughout your life your love of learning, your passion for justice and your imaginative engagement with the world,” he said.