GMercyU Holds 67th Commencement Ceremony
Gwynedd Mercy University awarded 731 degrees at its 67th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2016. The degrees conferred include 209 associate, 367 bachelor’s, 153 master’s and two doctoral degrees.
Father John Collins, CSsR, who served as GMercyU community Chaplain and campus minister from 2001 until 2015, served as commencement speaker. During his time at GMercyU, Father John was an essential member of Campus Ministry-led workshops, was involved in student retreats and service projects, and provided spiritual direction for those who sought it.
Father John obtained master's degrees in Religious Education (MRE) and Divinity (MDiv) during seminary studies and, after ordination, completed a master's program in social work (MSW) with a clinical concentration in social work and is licensed as a clinical social worker (LCSW). In 2015, Father John began a new chapter in his ministry serving on the Retreat Staff of his community’s San Alfonso Retreat House in Long Branch, NJ.
The University also awarded three Beacon of Mercy awards, which recognize individuals who possess an awareness of the responsibility for the transformation of society and are recognized as leaders working toward the creation of a global society.
President and Chairman of the Board of the 2015 World Meeting of Families Robert J. Ciaruffoli, Regional Director of Catholic Relief Services Maureen McCullough, JD, and co-founder of Amigos de Jesus Father Dennis J.W. O’Donnell received the Beacon of Mercy Award at commencement.
Assistant Professor Carlo Silvesti, CPA, CGMA, MBA received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. Professor Silvesti has been a member of the GMercyU faculty since 2006 and teaches accounting and Principles of Management and Economics courses. He served as a financial officer in middle market-sized businesses for 35 years before coming to GMercyU.
Included in the graduating class are Walettra Enoch and her daughter Diamond Devereaux. This is actually their second commencement together, as Walettra (who goes by Mese) was pregnant with Diamond during her high school graduation.
Mese defied the odds and became part of the 2 percent of teenage mothers who earn a bachelor’s degree by age 30. But she wasn’t done yet: today she received her master’s degree in the nurse practitioner program, while Diamond earned her bachelor’s degree in respiratory care.
Diamond has an interview coming up with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Mese will continue as a nurse educator at Temple University and GMercyU. She is also developing an app that will help patients better understand what happens to their body when facing a diagnosis of high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases.