Reflections on Commencement 2013
your training in the liberal arts tradition, you have gained a flexibility of
mind that will allow you to re-think and to re-shape the world."
- Dr. Frances L. Flannery, associate professor of religion, 2013 Carl L. Harter Teacher of the Year
a student at JMU for the past four years has been a rewarding experience, to
say the least. I could not have imagined how much I would grow and develop as a
student, and a person. This, however, would not have been possible without the
professors I had, the people I met and the lasting friends I've made. The
community I came into and the one I formed while here has been home to some of
the most wonderful and lasting memories."
- Sarah M. Stacy ('13) of Suffolk, Va., B.A. English, Phi Beta Kappa
"The individual commencement ceremony for the
College of Education/University Studies partnership is a most fitting
way to recognize graduates who are richly prepared in liberal studies and who
aspire to devote themselves to leadership and professional service on behalf of
communities, businesses and schools."
- Dr. Phil Wishon, dean of the College of Education
of its interdisciplinary nature and its intentional focus on the liberal arts,
JMU's interdisciplinary liberal studies major provides the academic content
needed by future teachers and is a wonderful major for other
students interested in a broad and integrative undergraduate experience.
Whichever path led our students through the program, we know they are ready to
continue their journeys and we send them out with great pride."
- Dr. Linda Cabe Halpern, dean of University Studies
great at anything, we must stick to it. ‘Stick-to-it-iveness’ can help us
achieve greatness. Graduation is the culmination of the positive choices, hard
work and determination!"
- Jason B. Wavell ('13) of Charlottesville, Va., B.A. individualized study, Adult Degree Program
blessed to be representing JMU’s incredible community of artists as the college
flag bearer. This title is very indicative of the task at hand for each
graduating member of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. As we, the 2013
graduates, enter into a society that may see our talents as expendable or
impractical, we must continue to bear our own flags as committed artists. Only
then can we enrich our world with the unimaginable beauty that our alma mater
has given to us."
- David K. Mann ('13) of Ashburn, Va., B.M. music education
"Don’t just go through the motions. Figure out your passion. Learn all you can about it and never stop learning. Learn from every person you meet. Learn from every situation you find yourself in. Learn your strengths and what you love to do. Make it your mission to help everyone around you learn and make sure you explain things in terms that they can understand."
- Dr. Barbara Reisner, associate professor of chemistry, recipient of College of Science and Mathematics' 2013 Distinguished Teaching Award
"College throws a lot of opportunities your way
that point you in the right direction. I’ve had a lot of great mentors in the
College of Science and Mathematics. I’ve also loved being involved at JMU [as a
tutor in the Science and Math Learning Center and a JMU student ambassador] and
finding that joy in helping others and meeting prospective students and their families
and sharing my love for JMU."
- Katherine Brown ('13) of Abingdon, Va., math major, valedictorian of the Class of 2013
"You have the special privilege of being the
first graduates of our new college, which was formed in July of 2012. Our
mission is to engage students, faculty and communities in learning, scholarship
and service in health and behavioral studies to inspire responsible
contributions to our world. We look forward to observing and benefiting from
the contributions that you, as alumni, will make."
- Dr. Sharon Lovell, interim dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Studies
"Sometimes the changes
I've witnessed here at JMU can be overwhelming – the growth of the university,
the expansion of our facilities and programs – but I am calmed by my knowledge
that I am in a place that continues to nurture undergraduates and respect their
strive for that as professors. We extend
the invitation to learn WITH us. The
growth and change we see in our students over the course of their studies is
- Carole Nash ('83), assistant professor of integrated science and technology
"We’ve made it through rigorous classes for
our major, staying up late to finish lab reports, circuit homework, programming
assignments, research essays and senior theses. Throughout our four or more years at JMU, we have encountered an
incredible sense of community, allowing us to form strong relationships, some
of which will last a lifetime."
- Maryann Sniezek ('13) of Mt. Airy, Md., integrated science and technology major, valedictorian of the College of Integrated Science and Engineering Class of 2013
"JMU 2013 graduates --- now is your time to be
brave. Right now. The first years after college will involve many
life decisions. So should you take the
higher paying job in the distant city or stay close to family and friends? No right decision there I suspect. So you’ll need to be brave for either
decision. Get an MBA and leave a good
job to incur expense furthering your career or stay put? No right decision there either, you’ll need
to muster your grit. You may be offered a job that you fear you can’t do. In that moment, say yes and be brave."
- Don Rainey ('82), entrepreneur, member of the JMU Board of Visitors