No, I don’t mean the holiday song made popular decades ago by Andy Williams. I am talking about right now. In the life of a university – in the life of Suffolk University – April and May are the most wonderful months of the year. This is what it is all about. Celebrating student achievement.
Next weekend we will graduate students from all three of our schools, awarding bachelor’s, master’s, JD, and PhD degrees. We exist for this moment when we launch individuals from their status as students to their status as our alumni, ready to walk down the life paths they have chosen. We are so excited to see where they all go from here, excited to watch the impact they have on their chosen professions and on their communities here in Boston, in New England, across the United States, and across the globe.
And that is only part (albeit a large part) of what makes this the most wonderful time of the year here. We are celebrating the achievements not only of those graduating, but also of a broad range of our community members. We honor student achievement among all classes at the Undergraduate Achievement Awards. We honor student leadership and engagement at the terrific dinner and ceremony put on each year by SGA. Individual academic departments hold award ceremonies. Our veterans recently hosted an impressive honor cord distribution ceremony. We will celebrate our diversity at the upcoming 1913 event, and highlight our commitment to our international students with a reception for those students and their families.
We gather our alumni to recognize special anniversaries, like the 50th reunion of the Law Review, or to celebrate the achievement of our young alumni through the annual 10 Under 10 awards ceremony.
And we gather our faculty and staff together to recognize those among us who have given so much to this University and its students, saying thank you to employees who have been here for 10, 20, 30, 40, and in one case 50 years (yes, Stuart Millner of the English department has been a member of the Suffolk community for five decades, doing an incredible job of teaching literally generations of students). After all, without the commitment of such individuals, there would be no graduations to celebrate next weekend.
People have been stopping me in the lobbies and halls of our buildings, saying I must be so tired with all of these events. The honest answer is that all of these events give me energy, and I can tell by the smiles on your faces that they do the same for all of you. We are all beaming right now because this is why we are here. This is the best time of the year.
Congratulations to all our graduates, and also to all the students, faculty, staff, and alumni whom we are celebrating this spring!
Marisa J. Kelly