Sunday, May 13, 2012
By Joan Snyder
Welcome, Dr. Thomforde, distinguished guests, faculty, fellow graduates, family and friends. I am honored to speak to you today.
I would like to recognize my fellow graduates in the master’s programs. It’s been quite a journey. I would also like to recognize our spouses, children, parents and friends; all who supported us and kept things going when we needed to spend time to study, to write papers, do research and develop projects. We truly appreciate your patience, understanding and most of all your belief in us that we would succeed.
I was not the typical student in that I went back to school later in life. I have been a nurse for 36 years. I initially graduated from a diploma nursing program, then began in a bachelor of science in nursing program. I put that on hold to get married, raise a wonderful family and establish myself in my profession. I later went back to finish my bachelor’s degree. Along the way, I studied to receive certification in specialty areas within my profession. Years later, when many of my colleagues were contemplating and looking forward to retirement I was contemplating going back to school again. This time for a master’s degree, which had always been a personal goal.
About 3 ½ years ago an opportunity presented itself to me. St. Luke’s University and Health Network partnered with Moravian College to establish a Master of Science Program in Nursing. I took that opportunity. Yes, it was challenging to balance a full time job, personal responsibilities and the course workload as my colleagues in the program would agree. But it was an opportunity and a challenge that I don’t regret, for today I can proudly say that I am a member of the first graduating class of the Master of Science Program in Nursing at Moravian, a distinction and an honor that will forever be unique.
As students, we have been fortunate to have faculty who supported us, who encouraged us to strive for excellence, who challenged us to look at a problem and see a solution. With their guidance we gained the skills and confidence necessary to face the challenges of tomorrow.
We live in challenging and rapidly changing times. Robert Kennedy once said, “All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”
To my fellow graduates in the master’s programs as well as all of you graduating today, what new goals will you set? What challenges will you face? What opportunities will you find? And what successes will you achieve? Today we celebrate our accomplishments. But as to tomorrow, I challenge all of you graduating today to have a goal of life long learning, to expand your world, to welcome new challenges. Because along with challenge comes opportunity and success.
Congratulations to all of you.