Seniors Told of Community, Value, and Record Donation

September 25, 2012
By: WSU News

The Worcester State University Class of 2013 learned of a record alumni gift and heard about the power of community and value at Senior Capping ceremony on Sunday, September 23.

President Barry. M. Maloney told the audience that an historic announcement had been made just two days earlier.  Lt. Colonel James Sheehan, class of 1955, made an historic $3 million dollar gift–the largest gift in the university’s 138-year history at the presidential inauguration on Friday.

“He made that gift because he believes in this institution and believes in students like you,” said Maloney.  His historic gift will be focused on three initiatives: student scholarships, establishing an honors college and supporting international education. “Lt. Col. Sheehan is passionate about academic excellence and all of you certainly demonstrate that excellence. When we gather to celebrate your excellence at commencement, I want you to be proud of the degree and the talents you will bring out into the world,” Maloney concluded.

Keynote speaker, Kate McEvoy-Zdonczyk, vice president of Central and Western Massachusetts Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and graduate of the Class of 1995, congratulated President Maloney on his recent inauguration. “We are so proud to have Barry Maloney at the helm of our university and as part of our Worcester community,” she said.

McEvoy-Zdonczyk told the graduates that much of what shaped her thinking and her career were fundamental understandings at WSU that are woven into the fabric of the university.   “The two concepts that I gained a deeper understanding of here at Worcester State are community and value,” she explained.  “Worcester State is a microcosm of the real world; filled with people from all walks of life.”  She said the commuters, residents, part-time students, full-time students, night students, day students, summer students all bring a unique perspective to the campus. “I’ll wager that it is as diverse on this campus as it is in the real world.  Whether we are talking about age, socio-economic status, race or religion, what brings us all together is the common unity that we share: the pursuit to better ourselves through education.”

She also reminded the class of 2013 to value the degree they will be receiving in May. “Never dismiss your diploma from WSU as anything less than the best, because it is the best,” she said.

In a ceremony for students, family and friends, Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Sibyl Brownlee congratulated the class for a job well done.  “We encourage you to reach the pinnacle, and we want to see every one of you cross the stage at commencement May 18.”

“The fact you are here today is testimony to your perseverance and ability to overcome many obstacles,” said George Albro, WSU board of Trustee member and member of the Class of 1965.

“Today marks another milestone for you to reflect on your final stretch as you approach the finish line,” said Vincent J. Matulaitis, President of the WSU Alumni Association’s Advisory Board and member of the Class of 1966.

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