The sky outside may have been dreary, but there was nothing but sunshine and smiles inside Royce Hall for the 187 graduates of the School of Nursing, their families and friends. At 8:30 am, the music began and the audience stood to greet the soon-to-be graduates from each program entered the room behind their student marshals: Tiffany Montgomery followed by the Doctor of Philosophy candidates; PK Kittipha followed by the Master of Science In Nursing Advanced Practice students; Jessica Salamat leading the MECN students and Maite Medina leading the Bachelor of Science candidates.
MECN student Tracie Holmes provided a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.
Once the audience was seated, the program began — a welcome from Interim Dean Linda Sarna, Student Speakers from each program sharing their insight and experiences (Kia Skrine Jeffers – PhD, Dominic Magtahas – APN, Jacob Merkel – MECN and Jennifer Choung – BS) The Doctoral Dissertaion Award was presented to Maria Yefimova and then keynote speaker Linda Burnes Bolton shared her wisdom: "You Must Choose to be a Leader." "Value everyone and their perspectives." Practice person-centered care." "We are in the business of human caring." All important words for the future leaders of healthcare to remember and live by.
Then, the conferrring of degrees. There were hugs and tears of joy as each candidate crossed the stage as his/her name was read. After the Bachelor's had turned their tassels, Professor Wendie Robbins lead the nurses in the auidience in the international pledge.
And finally, a School tradition – the 8-clap. Newly minted APN Brittani Clark lead a loud cheer and Interim Dean Sarna led the processional out into the quad area outside of Royce Hall. The drizzle didn't dampen the enthusiasm or joy of the day