The College Celebrates First Nursing Graduates to Earn Bachelors Degrees
Keene State College marked the graduation of its first nursing class to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) on Friday, May 10. This is the first class of students ever to graduate from the Keene State Nursing Program with a Bachelor’s degree – a total of 17 students. “This is a momentous occasion for Keene State College…” said Dr. Connelly. “The field of nursing holds enormous opportunity for our graduates today. These students have worked hard to gain the education they need to be competitive in future jobs, while learning what it means to care for people in need. This is a truly proud day for the College, our graduates and their families.”
During the ceremony, guest speaker Dr. Maureen Sroczynski, a national leader in nursing education and practice redesign, spoke to the students about bridging education and practice. Students recitee the Florence Nightingale Pledge, which is a modified “Hippocratic Oath” that was composed in 1893. Finally, students were presented with nursing pins from Dr. Thomas Connelly, Director of Nursing at Keene State College. The nursing pin originated over 100 years ago as a representation of service. The Keene State College pin was designed by Dr. Connelly and modeled after the college seal.
The 2013 Spring Honors Convocation was held on Friday, May 10 in the Spaulding Gym Recreation Center. The Convocation recognizes excellence in student scholarship and leadership, the recipients of undergraduate Academic Honors (students graduating with a GPA of 3.5-4.0), and the Leo F. Redfern Outstanding Citizen.
Despite an untimely spring downpour, 1,222 graduates from Keene State College received their diplomas with undampened enthusiasm. This year’s graduating class was the largest in College history and included the College’s first seventeen graduates in the new nursing program.
Highlights from the Commencement speakers
Interim President Jay Kahn - Address to the Class of 2013
In his address to the Class of 2013, Interim President Kahn noted that the 1,222 graduates had blazed new trails, achieved national honors for their knowledge, creative thinking, and teamwork, and harnessed competition into collaboration. The Class of 2013 contributed thousands of hours and thousands of dollars in community service. Three hundred members of this year’s class will be going on to jobs in science, technology, and math. “I am proud of you, Class of 2013,” said Kahn, “and I have confidence in your success.” “I hope you will always be proud of your college,” he continued, “and your diploma reflects these accomplishments. Keene State College will always be here for you.”
Alison Hammel, President of the Senior Class
Alison Hammel, president of the senior class, charged graduates to keep growing into the person they want to be. “Our class has done some pretty remarkable things,” she stated. She noted the funds that the class raised to support cancer research, a new building that was constructed during their time at Keene State, and the introduction of the nursing program. “We found our passions and our friends,” she said. “We will forever hold our memories of the time we spent here.” Hammel suggested that graduates could steer themselves in any direction they chose. “Everything will turn into something bigger and better!”
Jeanne Shaheen, United States Senator
Senator Shaheen referred to the rain in her opening remark. “This is a Commencement you will remember!” she said. “You all worked so hard to get to this day.” Senator Shaheen remarked that no accomplishment is done alone and encouraged graduates to thank their faculty, parents, and friends for the support that they provided. “Congratulations to everyone who had a role in getting you here today.” Senator Shaheen encouraged graduates of the Class of 2013 to become active citizens. “Many of you will follow career paths that didn’t exist a few years ago,” she said. “What has not changed is the value of your education and the value of public service and political involvement.” Shaheen feels that graduates have an advantage because of their degrees regardless of what path they follow, and noted the increased earning potential of college graduates. She noted that graduates are prepared to be active citizens in this great Republic. “I am here to encourage you to take that community service one step further,” she stated. “You are called on to do even more.” She noted that the interest in the elections of 2008 and 2012 has made politics more relevant to this generation. But, she cautioned, “You have to do more than vote in presidential elections.” Later, she noted, “As frustrating as democracy is, it is still the best form of government there is.” “Throughout my life I have seen how one person can make a difference,” she said. “You can make a difference. You will never regret making the effort.”
Margaret Ramsay, Recipient of the Granite State Award
“It takes ten years to go from nausea to nostalgia,” she stated. She spoke of two projects at Keene State that took several years to accomplish. She noted that it took ten years to build the Redfern Arts Center and ten years to gather all the donations that the KSC alumni made to secure the College’s camp. She noted that she would tell graduates, “I hope that you do get involved. I’ll see you at the camp!”
Ferd Prevost, Keene State College Class of 1956 - Honorary Doctor of Science Degree Recipient
For more than 50 years, Ferd Prevost has created an environment that has made math a dynamic learning experience. He served on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and established the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics organization 50 years ago. He currently serves on the Alumni Board of Directors. “Doing what you want to do and liking what you do, I’ve had 56 years to do that,” he said. Ferd noted how much the College has changed since he attended Keene State. “When I graduated in 1956, there were fewer students at Keene State than the number of students graduating today!”