NU Purple Eagle graduates get ready to fly away from home
Niagara University is sending off its undergraduate Class of 2012 from its own campus this year. In recent years, students graduated on the University at Buffalo’s stage during one large ceremony. This year they will be graduating at NU, but will be divided into two separate groups.
“Its nice to be able to graduate at the school you have attended for the past four years, instead of going to the University of Buffalo,” says Drew Mencer, an NU education major. “There is something special about being able to stand next to your friends and get your diploma at your own school.”
Although many members of the NU community wanted graduation to occur on campus, the fact that the Class of 2012 won’t be graduating in one ceremony has caused some disappointment.
“It would be nice if the school were able to accommodate everyone, so we could all graduate as a class,” says Sam Cucinotta, an NU accounting major. “I can understand why the school must hold two separate ceremonies, but at the same time you want to be with everyone, considering the importance of the day.”
To accommodate the entire NU community at once, everyone is invited to attend the commencement liturgy in the upper level of the Gallagher Center on Friday, May 11, at 4 p.m. The Rev. Kevin Creagh, C.M., associate vice president, campus ministry, will officiate. Tickets are not required to attend the liturgy.
Both undergraduate ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 12, in the Upper Level Gallagher Center. The first ceremony will be held from 10 a.m. to noon for graduates of the College of Business Administration and the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The second ceremony will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education.
Graduates will assemble an hour before their ceremony begins. Students traveling from Canada should expect delays on the bridge and plan accordingly.
Tickets are required for both undergraduate and graduate ceremonies. In between the two ceremonies, individual college receptions will be held.
Award-winning journalist Tom Ashbrook and best-selling author Sylvia Nasar will speak at the graduation ceremonies. Ashbrook will speak at the undergraduate commencement beginning at 10 a.m., while Nasar will follow with her address starting at 3 p.m.
Ashbrook was brought to public radio when he was asked to be the host of NPR’s “On Point” following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. As a lifelong journalist whose specialties range from foreign correspondent to newspaper editor, Ashbrook has dedicated his work in favor of the public good.
Having worked at the South China Morning Post and the Boston Globe, Ashbrook is able to provide a perspective that spans both national and international borders.
After receiving the Livingston Prize for National Reporting for his work, Ashbrook decided to test his hand in Internet entrepreneurship, detailed in his book “The Leap: A Memoir of Love and Madness in the Internet Gold Rush.”
The former Yale and Andhra University graduate also holds a passion for American history and Gandhi’s Independence Movement, further promoting his unique perspective of the world.
Nasar may be most known for her biography “A Beautiful Mind,” detailing the life of mathematician John Nash Jr., yet her credentials exceed even her best-selling novel. Nasar has the recognition of being the first to hold the Knight Chair at Columbia University, as well as being an avid economist and journalist.
After earning her master’s degree in economics at New York University in 1976, Nasar has worked as an economic correspondent for the New York Times and a columnist at U.S. News & World Report. Her experience and drive has garnered national acclaim, even to the extent of a Pulitzer Prize nomination in 1998. Her most recent book, “Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius,” serves as a 20th century narrative history regarding the process of economic thought.
James Boldt, NU ’73, chairman and CEO of Computer Task Group in Buffalo; Robert Clune, NU ’58, managing partner with Williamson, Clune & Stevens in Ithaca; and the two guest speakers will receive honorary degrees from Niagara University.
The graduate commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 13, at 11 a.m. in the upper level of the Gallagher Center. Graduates will assemble at 10 a.m., but students should plan to arrive no later than 9:30 a.m.
Lloyd Robertson, retired chief anchor, "CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson," will address that graduates. Robertson and Mike Holmes, HGTV host of "Holmes Inspection" and "Holmes on Homes," will receive honorary degrees.
Congratulations Class of 2012!