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La Salle’s Commencement Weekend recognized the accomplishments of over 1,000 graduates 

The Class of 2024 was celebrated during two ceremonies held at McCarthy Stadium on campus.

Students smile during Commencement Ceremony

A sunny, crisp spring day was the perfect backdrop for La Salle University’s Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement Ceremonies.  

Over 1,000 degrees were conferred at McCarthy Stadium on Saturday, May 11. Families and friends watched the undergraduate ceremony in the morning and the graduate ceremony in the afternoon, as Explorers celebrated their achievements.  

University President Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., addressed both groups of students with a message of perseverance as many overcame the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic just four years before on their path to commencement day. 

University President Daniel J. Allen, Ph.D., addressed the graduates during two Commencement Ceremonies on May 11, 2024.

“I stand with you here today humbled by your persistence and so very proud of your unwavering commitment to do whatever it took to get to this day,” Allen said. “That time in your life, what you got through, will become the stories that you tell in the future to your families and friends. Your unique story. You will tell them how you made it. How you overcame one of the greatest challenges in modern human history. How you have become known for more.”  

Allen continued to share with the graduates how La Salle prepared them to enter the professional world while encouraging them to continue to learn from everything they do.  

“As you leave here today, please remember to live by our Lasallian values. Let them be your North star in all that you do personally and professionally. They will help you stay on the right path and continue to be true to yourself,” he said.  

Undergraduate Student Commencement speaker Bernadette “Bern” Shields, ’24, MBA ’24, spoke during the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 11, 2024.

Undergraduate Student Commencement speaker Bernadette “Bern” Shields, ’24, MBA ’24, had a similar message for her peers. She shared how La Salle had become a home for her over the last four years and that it had prepared her and her fellow students to enter the world able to do anything they put their minds to.  

“La Salle University has always been a home for hardworking individuals, and the Class of 2024 is no exception,” she said. All of us have faced unprecedented obstacles, yet we have persevered and continue to persevere with unwavering determination. Our personal commitment to our educational journey, despite the challenges, is a testament to the grit that defines us as La Salle students. You have all proven that no obstacle is too great, and no setback can define your journey.”  

Peter J. Dougherty, ’71, received an honorary degree during the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 11, 2024.

Those in attendance at the undergraduate ceremony also heard from honorary degree recipient Peter J. Dougherty, ’71. The University bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters on Dougherty who is currently the director of the American Philosophical Society Press.  

Previously, Dougherty served as director of the Princeton University Press from 2005 until 2017, where he oversaw one of the most academically distinguished and financially robust scholarly publishing programs in the world. 

Dougherty shared a few words with the graduates about how interpersonal skills can help bolster their professional careers.  

“Now that I have been awarded a doctorate, suddenly I’m feeling empowered to pontificate a little bit on a certain institution of my own choosing. I’m referring to the noble institution of lunch. Yes, lunch,” he espoused. 

“To the class of 2024, for all the goals you aspire to, my message is simple: You will achieve these goals more enjoyably and even more successfully if you find the time to meet often for lunch,” Dougherty added.  

The graduate ceremony continued with sunshine and smiles later that afternoon.  

Jillian Mele, ’05, MBA ’24, addressed her fellow graduates during the Graduate Commencement Ceremony on May 11, 2024.

Graduate students alongside their guests heard from Jillian Mele, ’05, MBA ’24, a two-time Emmy Award winning journalist. Mele’s experience in TV media included working as a national news anchor and reporter to sports anchor and reporter. 

Mele shared her personal story of reinventing herself and pursuing a career path that she was truly passionate about. She motivated her fellow graduates to take risks, believe in themselves, and find something they love.  

“I hope that every single one of you now has bigger, brighter dreams and goals that this degree will help you accomplish,” Mele said. “And may we all remember, as I have learned first-hand, it is ok for our dreams to evolve just as we are constantly evolving ourselves. Instead of fearing change, may we embrace the mindset that we are lucky because we get to change, we get to continue to make ourselves better.” 

—Meg Ryan   

The post La Salle’s Commencement Weekend recognized the accomplishments of over 1,000 graduates  appeared first on La Salle University.

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