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Highs and lows of Quinnipiac’s undergraduate commencement ceremonies


Photo courtesy of Quinnipiac University.

Quinnipiac University’s Class of 2015 Undergraduate Commencement took place Sunday, May 17 on the quad. The School of Business and School of Communications ceremony took place at 9 a.m. The School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing was held at 1:30 p.m., and the College of Arts and Sciences began at 5:30 p.m.

The following includes both the high and low moments of the day.

Low: As people waited for the ceremonies to begin, many were agitated by the heat. Temperatures peaked at about 90 degrees during the afternoon with little clouds to shield the sun.

High: Each ceremony featured a famous guest speaker. Best-selling author and New York Times columnist, Adam Bryant spoke at the first ceremony. Kevin Carroll, best known for developing the first prosthetic tail for a dolphin, was the second speaker. The 2011 film Dolphin Tale was inspired by Carroll’s groundbreaking innovation. Kal Penn, Famous for his roles in the Harold and Kumar movie series and the television show How I Met Your Mother, gave the third speech. Penn has also made political impacts in topics such as the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

Low: After the speakers, the students lined up to receive their degrees. Throughout the name calling process many were thrown off about the mispronunciation of names. Nursing graduate Rachelle Maren Sirois (RAH-SHEL MAIR-INN SIR-OYE) was upset as her name was read as Rachel Marie Siros (RAY-CHEL MAH-REE SIR-OHS.)

“They butchered my entire name. I was disappointed especially because I called ahead of time and told them how to pronounce it correctly,” said Sirois.

Another student, Jessica Nerger, had her last name read as a racial slur rather than her actually name.

High: Despite the disappointment with the mispronunciations, students eagerly accepted their degrees. As students stepped up, the University allowed one family member to gain access near the stage for photography. The family member was given a numbered card that matched the student’s place in line.

High: Physical Therapy graduate, Alex Rigazio is currently doing service work in Cape Town and was not able to walk at the ceremony. However he was still able to wear his gown and hold his degree on his graduation day.

“It was truly a special moment in my life, and added more to my wonderful experience here. I mean who else can say they graduated on a beach in South Africa with Table Mountain behind them,” said Rigazio.


Photo courtesy of QU South Africa.

High: Soon after the second commencement ended David Pirelli ’14 got down on one knee and proposed to Health Science graduate Jaclyn Davis. Quinnipiac’s student run singing group, “Nota-able” serenaded the two after Davis said “yes.”


Photo courtesy of Quinnipiac University.

High: After the ceremonies snacks and beverages were served at two tents located on the quad. Graduates found their families and friends to take pictures as they celebrated their achievements. Nursing graduate, Lynn Hopkins took a moment to reflect on her time at Quinnipiac.

“I got so much more out of Quinnipiac than just my education. I learned a lot of life lessons and I learned a lot about myself. I’m fortunate that I found a career path that makes me happy and I’m even more fortunate that Quinnipiac helped to prepare me for it,” Hopkins said.

For more insight on the day’s event, use the hashtag #QU2015 on twitter and instagram.

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