Impending rain couldn’t dampen the graduates’ smiles Saturday as they marched through the arches for the last time together to receive their diplomas.
Faculty, staff, family and friends shared laughter and celebrated the students’ important day, with 1,276 undergraduates crossing the stage to become St. Thomas alumni.
The Rev. Dennis Dease encouraged the Tommies, telling them that they each have something to offer this world.
“You should never, ever make the mistake of thinking that it’s a big world and that you can’t really make much of a difference,” Dease said.
College graduation is a day that many parents dream of when their children are born. And now, the dreams have come true.
Graduate Nicholas Johnson said he’s been looking forward to this day for years.
“I guess it was always a goal and expectation I had always growing up,” Johnson said.
Students weren’t the only ones to receive degrees Saturday. Dease also received an Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that one day I would become a member of the class of 2013,” Dease said.
Dease emphasized continuing the St. Thomas motto of challenging yourself to change our world after commencement.
“Each of you can change the world. All you have to do really is change one tiny fraction and voila, the entire equation has been changed,” Dease said.
The students’ trek under the arches marked the conclusion of the ceremony, their undergraduate careers and the beginning of their futures as Tommie Alumni.
Caroline Rode can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.