Lynch School celebrates newest alumni at diploma ceremony
On May 24, the Lynch School celebrated the accomplishments of 250 graduate students and 190 undergraduates at Boston College’s 134th Commencement. Following the official University graduation in the morning, the Lynch School held its own diploma ceremony at O’Neill Plaza.
Under sunny blue skies, the graduates and their families listened to speeches and gathered for group photos. The first speaker, Brian Richards ’10, spoke about living Jesuit values, forging friendships, and the Lynch School community. Comparing his journey at Boston College to his favorite childhood television show, Pokémon, he even belted out the show’s theme song. He concluded by saying, "Teach students (and those with whom you work) to understand the power that's inside each and every one of us."
Next, Caitlin Keeton M.Ed. ’10 spoke about how Boston College taught her to find God in all things, and how Commencement marks the beginning of her education, not the end. She described three virtues that every educator should keep in mind: authenticity, presence, and responsibility.
Finally, Joseph M. O'Keefe, S.J., dean of the Lynch School, welcomed the Class of 2010 to “the ranks of over 21,000 women and men who are setting the world aflame with enthusiasm and hope.” He also congratulated parents and families, and acknowledged the dedication of Lynch School faculty and staff.
Dean O’Keefe then drew on the words of Father Adolfo Nicolas, superior general of the Society of Jesus. “If there is one thing I want you to remember from all the talk today, it is this. Quoting Father Nicolas: ‘The goal of a Jesuit education is not excellence—the goal of a Jesuit education is depth,’” Dean O’Keefe said.
He went on to discuss the challenges of redefining the mission of Jesuit higher education in an increasingly globalized and technological society. As he quoted Father Nicolas, “When one is overwhelmed with such a dizzying pluralism of choices and values and beliefs and visions of life, then one can so easily slip into the lazy superficiality of relativism or mere tolerance of others and their views, rather than engaging in the hard work of forming communities of dialogue in the search of truth and understanding.”
And that, said the dean, is at the heart of a Lynch School education: an effort “to create a community of dialogue in the search of truth and understanding.” He went on, “It is my hope that during your time with us, you have experienced such a community. And it is my hope, as you go forth as teachers, administrators, counselors, or researchers, that you will build communities of dialogue—marked by the hard work of critical thinking, the generous stance of respect and openness to others, an unwavering commitment to those who are undervalued by society, and grounded in values that are not fleeting, but values upon which you can build a life worth living.”
In closing, Dean O’Keefe said, “I hope that your time with us has not only made you smarter, and more competent, I hope that your education here has not only given you letters to put after your name. I hope that your education at the Lynch School has given you more than excellence—I hope that your education at the Lynch School has given you depth.”