Caldwell, N.J., May 15, 2016 – Caldwell University celebrated its 74th annual commencement Sunday, May 15.
Anabela Santos, of Newark, New Jersey, delivered the student address at the undergraduate commencement ceremony. “Caldwell University have shaped us into better thinkers and leaders, helped us discover our passions, and helped us realize potential that we may not have seen in ourselves on our own,” said Santos.
She quoted from the 1990s television sitcom “Boy Meets World” in which the history teacher, Mr. Feeney, advises his students to “believe in yourselves, dream, try, do good.” Santos said, “During this four-year journey, we have each met, in some way, our own version of Mr. Feeney who encouraged us to dream big, believe in ourselves, try our best, and taught us the importance of using our talents to do good. As we prepare to go out into the world, we should embrace and act upon Mr. Feeney’s advice.”
An honorary degree was presented to Dr. Ernani Sadural, director of Global Health for the RWJBarnabas Health System. A board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. Sadural is co-founder and chief medical officer of the Life is Great Global Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing medical and non-medical volunteers to underserved populations throughout the world. He and his wife, Dr. Sarah Timmapuri, were inspired to start the organization following the suffering and deaths caused by the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Dr. Sadural has participated in or led over 50 medical missions across several countries including Haiti, Dominican Republic, India, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Grenada, Peru, Nepal, and Honduras. He is a member of the Rotary Club of the Caldwells.
Dr. Sadural told the graduates, “I applaud your hard work and academic achievements and I share your love of learning. But what I really admire about Caldwell University is your mission of service.” Each of us, he said, “has a role in creating a just and compassionate global community.” Quoting Einstein Dr. Sadural said, “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
Sarah Schiffelbein, of Villas, New Jersey, delivered the student address at the graduate commencement ceremony. She said that Caldwell has supported the students throughout their journey in numerous ways. “Any time we felt defeated and discouraged, Caldwell was there to support us. When we saw our theses and dissertations slowly taking form and becoming the final product, Caldwell was there supporting us. Now, today, as we are walking on this stage to accept our degrees, Caldwell is here to support us.”
The university awarded 435 students with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. President Nancy Blattner presented doctoral students with their Ph.D.s and graduate students with their Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration or Master of Science degrees. She presented undergraduates with their Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.
Dr. Blattner said it was a day of great pride and joy for all of the family members and friends who supported the students during years of study. “And it is a day of celebration for the faculty, staff and administration of Caldwell University as we send forth our 74th class of graduates to make a positive impact on our world.” She encouraged the students to carry the university’s core values of Respect, Integrity, Community and Excellence into their communities and work places.
The grand marshal of the graduate ceremony was Dr. Tom Keen, professor in the Business Division, and the grand marshall for the undergraduate ceremony was Dr. Sally Jo Weber, professor in the Department of Modern Languages. Honored alumni from the 50th anniversary class of 1966 were recognized at the undergraduate ceremony.