UD celebrates its 156th Commencement
Enjoying the balmy weather, some 21,500 persons, including family, friends and alumni, turned out to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2005 on their special day.
Complementing the students procession were alumni representatives of classes from the 1950s through 2004. The Commencement ceremony also marked the official passage of the Class of 2005 from being students at UD to becoming members in the UD Alumni Association, with its membership totaling more than 130,000 alumni in 81 countries around the world.
The alumni delegates were led by Samantha Foy and William A. Tisdale, recipients of the 2005 Alumni Associations Warner and Taylor awards, which recognize the outstanding senior woman and man.
Flags from the 50 states and more than 130 countries that are home to UD students lined the fence behind the platform group. The flags celebrate the role that UD benefactor P.S. du Pont played in establishing the Universitys Junior Year Abroad, the first of its kind worldwide.
Jeff Shaara, whose novels have been praised for their attention to factual details of the historical events and eras described, as well as for the development of emotional ties between the reader and the characters, delivered the Commencement address.
Following Shaaras address, Howard E. Cosgrove, chairman of UDs Board of Trustees, conferred an honorary doctor of science degree on William B. DeLauder, who retired in 2003 after serving 17 years as president of Delaware State University. His tenure there was characterized by major advances in academic programs, student life and capital projects that enriched the living-learning environment on that campus.
Conferred were 210 doctoral, 759 masters, 13 associates and 3,890 bachelors degrees earned during the past academic year. Honored by Del. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner for achieving the highest grade point average--4.0--in full-time study at UD were Catherine Anne Connelly of Cranford, N.J., Joshua Aaron Gerstenblith of Baltimore, Krista Nicole Velez of Marlboro, N.Y., and Claire Marie Zelinskas of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
For the great majority of you, today will be just one step in a lifelong continuum of learning, Roselle said. Congratulations, graduates, on a job well done and on achieving this particular milestone in your lives.
The Class of 2005, whose members range in age from 20 to 68 years, includes nine graduates celebrating birthdays and nine sets of twins, he said.
Its kind of shocking to be here today, Hillel Dlugacz, a fine arts and visual communication major from Woodmere, N.Y., said. One of the best things about my UD experience is the number of friends that I have made.
Matt Gross, a business major from East Meadow, N.Y., said that Commencement was pretty much what he expected it to be, and that for him the most memorable experiences also were with the friends he has made at UD.
Lauren Stout, an international relations major from Hockessin, said that the idea that she was actually graduating still hadnt registered. It is an exciting time, Stout said. The things I enjoyed most are my friends and homecoming events.
Lauren Gerardi, a political science major from Staten Island, N.Y., said that graduating feels like a surreal experience. Its like its not really happening. Gerardi, who is looking for a job in journalism, also said she will miss her friends and all the good times they had during the last four years.
Its kind of weird, Gross said. The nice thing was watching myself and my friends grow. When I came to UD, I was scared, but now Im not.
Robel Kahsay, a doctoral candidate from Eritrea, in Eastern Africa, who was receiving a Ph.D. in electrical engineering said that he enjoyed his experiences at UD, particularly working at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.
My work is in bioinformatics, Kahsay said. Im taking a position as a research scientist at Georgetown University.
I love this school so much. Graduation is a happy and a sad thing, Lee said. A lot of people say, Yeah--were finally graduating, but me, I want to cry.
Lee, who was president of Nihongo Table, a club where Japanese and nonJapanese students meet at UD, said she enjoyed meeting people during her term as president of the club, and that she also enjoyed Japanese studies. After an internship in international economics, she plans to attend law school.
I love UD, Lee said I hate to leave it.
Article by Jerry Rhodes
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