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Gwynedd Mercy University celebrated its 2019 Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 11 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks. To accommodate the growth of the University and its graduating classes, this is the first year in the University’s history that its Commencement Ceremonies were held at an off-site location. In fact, GMercyU’s Class of 2019 is the University’s largest graduating class with more than 880 graduates receiving their degrees in the 2018-2019 academic year.
“Today we celebrate all that you have accomplished thus far and look forward to all of the greatness that is still yet to come,” said GMercyU President Deanne H. D’Emilio, JD, during her welcome address to the Class of 2019. “You are preparing to do noble work and I encourage you to always remember the unique power that you have to positively influence the lives around you. So while you may be graduating today, your journey is only just beginning.”
In addition to celebrating the achievements of the 2019 graduates, four Honorary Degree recipients were recognized for their commitment to the spirit of the Sisters of Mercy and continued positive impact on local and global communities. The honorees included Patricia Murphy, RSM, JoAnn Persch, RSM, who were recognized during Undergraduate Commencement and Mary C. Sullivan, RSM, PhD, and Sarorng Sorn, who were recognized during the Graduate Commencement.
Graduates and attendees alike were inspired and encouraged by this year’s Commencement Speakers, who were Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes, Ret., for Undergraduate Commencement and Gloria Bonilla-Santiago, PhD, for Graduate Commencement. GMercyU’s own student speakers, Karen DeVose, EdD, and Amber O’Toole, BSN, shared their touching personal stories as well as their hopes for their fellow graduates.
The graduates were honored in the company of family, friends, faculty, and staff, as they reflected on their achievements and look forward to their future successes. There were many smiles, tears, and cheers as the Class of 2019 said farewell to Gwynedd Mercy University and hello to their bright futures as Distinctive Mercy Graduates.