Hooding & Commencement Exercises

Champlain College Hooding & Commencement Exercises, Friday, May 10, 2013 10 a.m. at Roger H. Perry Hall, Burlington, VT . Former Vt. Governor Madeleine May Kunin was the Keynote Commencement Speaker.

Here are the links to photo albums:
Flickr albums

Kathleen Landwehrle Photography

Champlain College Facebook


Laura Dagan, Chair of the Champlain Board of Trustees

Good morning, I am Laura Dagan, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Champlain College. It is my honor to welcome fellow trustees, administrators, staff, and faculty —and the soon-to-be graduates, their families and friends— to the Master's Degree hooding ceremony and commencement.

This is the tenth time in the 135 year history of the College that we gather to recognize graduates of the Master's degree programs.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I congratulate the108 students here today completing graduate degrees at Champlain College. I also congratulate all of you who have supported these students through their graduate work and today share in these accomplishments.

Finally, I also commend the members of the Champlain College community whose vision for graduate education at Champlain has become a thriving reality, as represented by the accomplishments of these fine candidates.

Today we honor these students with a hooding ceremony and the conferring of their master's degrees. Dr. Robin Abramson, our Provost, will later explain the significance of this traditional ceremony.

Let us take a moment to give thanks for the blessings of this day as we gather here to celebrate and acknowledge our students' accomplishments. We give thanks to the families, employers and other supporters who helped make this day possible for these Champlain College graduates.

May we heed the experience and learning of those who came before us, that we may be the wiser as we move forward. May we offer a helping hand, a kind word of advice and a moment of peace to those who follow us in this path of higher education.

We ask for the patience and guidance to use our knowledge to bring about respectful and important change in the world.

In the years ahead, we ask that our actions be tempered with grace, wisdom and forethought as we strive to make our world a better place. Amen.

Student Speaker Representing The Class of 2013:

Student SpeakerAngela Valentinetti, from Barre, Vt. Her degree is in Law and is representing the graduating class of 2013

We each have the power to make our lives amazing. So often, though, we forget that. We let a multitude of factors keep us from realizing our full potential. We make excuses for why we can't do what we want. With that ever present voice saying, "I'll start tomorrow," we see our dreams pushed further out of our reach.

Then there are moments like this. Moments when we put aside our trepidation, stop making excuses, and start taking action. Suddenly, we are able to study around our full-time work schedules.

Suddenly, we can find time outside of our personal commitments. And suddenly, with a little help from the U.S. government, we do have the money.

It may mean staying up all hours of the night and functioning on very little sleep. It may mean bringing our textbooks and laptops everywhere, just in case we find a free moment to squeeze in some studying - during half-time at kids' sporting events always worked for me. It may mean declining invitations to go out with friends every weekend or limiting our time on the phone, watching television or, sometimes, sadly, getting outside. It may mean drawing those purse strings a little (or a lot) tighter. It may also mean having our spouses take on the household chores that we love most, to allow us to have more time to study of course.

Through it all, though, we keep trudging on because we know it won't last forever and the payoff will benefit not only us but those we love most. And here we are at last. As we have been inspired by others, our success now serves as an inspiration for family, friends and even ourselves. When we are facing difficult times, we can be comforted in knowing that this degree serves as more than just a resume booster.

It reminds us every day that we are capable of hurdling the tallest of obstacles to accomplish our goals. So, as you go forward with your Master's degree in one hand and perhaps a pamphlet about debt consolidation in the other, remember the difficulties you overcame to get to this point. Remember that you do have the ability to push yourself to all levels of achievements and make your life truly amazing.


Alumni SpeakerAlumnus speaker Sebastian Massey '12 with a Master of Science in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies. He is from Sarasota, Florida.

Good Morning. What an honor to be invited to welcome you, Master's Degree Graduates of Champlain College, Class of 2013. I can't congratulate you enough on what you've achieved. And I hope that even that will pale in comparison to what you will achieve. Before I came to Champlain, I served the Peace Corps in Niger, West Africa for 2 years. At the end of that time I had learned much about myself, other people, and the world. Coming to Champlain to study mediation, I built on and refined that knowledge, and now I realize that I had so much more growth and accomplishment ahead of me. My achievement was not an ending. It's been the same since I earned my Master's last year. I would like to share with you some of the things I've learned in that admittedly small amount of time.

As much as we all disagree with our colleagues from time to time, and come from different backgrounds, you will encounter, befriend, and work with people of even more widely different perspectives than you can imagine. Listen to them. You will find something of value in their approach, and something of value to share from yours. Share eagerly. You will be rewarded with friends, allies, and advisors.

Patience is easy to seek from others, but worth so much more if you practice it yourself. Find the problem, before looking for a solution. Be comfortable being in the middle of a project. You can't always be at the end.

You can't always foresee every obstacle. Things you didn't plan for will happen. They are not in your control, but what you do about them is. Win anyway. There's always a course of action, even if that means starting again, asking for help, or putting in the long hours. Persevere.

Ask for help, when you need it. You are surrounded by friends, family, and colleagues right now. Be willing to help each other, it will be repaid in kind. More importantly, be willing to accept help from surprising places.

You have more skills, that are more applicable, to more fields than you realize. Use them, test them, try things that you hadn't considered before. You'd be surprised at what fields your Master's degree skills are useful in. My Master's degree says Mediation. I currently work in medical software as a technical engineer . I use my degree every day.

Your degree can be focused on a specific field like forensics, media, business, or mediation. Or you can unpack it. Look at the skills that were included in that degree and see that they can be applied almost universally. Critical thinking, project management, consensus building, model building, and more. Find the skills you enjoy flexing most, and you will find your calling. Practice the ones that challenge you, and you will grow.

If you practice being creative, patient, and open to sharing your talents, knowledge and skills eagerly, you will be valuable anywhere you go, in ways that may not seem obvious at first. Not only that, but you will leave behind you a line of people whose lives you've changed, one interaction at a time, for the better. You will find yourself being pulled to where you are needed.

So I urge you, go forth and share your skills and understanding. Ask others to share theirs with you. Listen. Be patient and be aware. Never stop learning and growing and encourage others to learn and grow. Inspire greatness, and you will achieve greatness.

Theologian Howard Thurman says, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Canada, and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and over 90 residential undergraduate and online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 384 Colleges: 2019 Edition. For the fourth year in a row, Champlain was named a "Most Innovative School" in the North by U.S. News & World Report's 2019 "America's Best Colleges,” and a “Best Value School” and is ranked in the top 100 “Regional Universities of the North” and in the top 25 for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” Champlain is also featured in the Fiske Guide to Colleges for 2019 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada and Great Britain and is a 2019 College of Distinction. For more information, visit champlain.edu.