Commencement 2014


On Saturday, May 10, the University of Saint Mary marked the close of another academic year and the achievement of a major milestone in the lives of the USM class of 2014 at the Commencement Ceremony in McGilley Field House.

Faculty, students, and administration sent off the class with a day’s worth of events—beginning with Baccalaureate Mass in Annunciation Chapel, continuing with a family brunch in Saint Joseph Dining Hall, highlighted by the stately ceremony in McGilley, and concluding with a reception on the Front Circle.

“Graduates, you have earned your degrees, passed your exams and completed your projects. You have read books, written papers and engaged in informed discussions and formal debates,” USM President Sister Diane Steele, C’83, told the audience during the Commencement Ceremony.

“That’s a good start on your education. Our real hope for you is a bit harder to measure. We pray now with a Saint Mary Catholic liberal arts education that you recognize and treasure the good and the beautiful; that you seek truth and aim to live justly; that you have come to see the glory of God in all that surrounds you, particularly, in the faces of those you encounter, and that you desire, henceforth, to walk humbly with your God.”

More than 200 graduates—representing a portion of the university’s total 2014 graduating class of 372—walked at Commencement 2014. Members of the graduating class hail from Kansas to Kenya, from multiple countries and every geographic region of the United States. They came from a wide variety of backgrounds and are headed toward an equally wide range of bright futures. In reaching their God-given potential, USM’s graduates overcame obstacles of all kinds.

During the ceremony, three of those students provided reflections on their own personal Saint Mary journeys—Bridget O’Neil, a biology and chemistry major from Leavenworth, Kan.; Lisa Ogden, of Lenexa, Kan., who completed her undergraduate degree in child development education at USM’s Overland Park Campus; and Benjamin Howard, of Shawnee, Kan., who earned his Master of Arts in Education.

“Take a look around. This is what it’s about,” O’Neil, the Student Government Association president, told the gathered grads.

“You are surrounded by people that love and support you, and have helped you get to where you are today. Professors, faculty, classmates, family, and friends are all here to celebrate you and your accomplishments. Years from now, you won’t remember what the specific projects were that you stayed up all night working on, but you will remember the people that you worked on the projects with and that made the experience memorable.”