Virtual Commencement, Saturday, Dec 10 at 2pm ET: Business Programs (Last Names A-K)
Well done! Great! [Music] Hi, I'm Paul LeBlanc President of Southern Hampshire University. Welcome. You may be wondering where I'm standing right now. Well, this is our Esports Arena. It was the first in the state of New Hampshire, we built it four years ago for our new Varsity Esports team, and they are amazing. They've won several championships, three alone last year. If you ever want to watch them on Twitch you should, it's really cool. Now, to the matter at hand. It's commencement and we want to thank our graduates. Thank you for being part of the SNHU community. You exemplify
the best values of our student body. The grit, the determination, the smarts. You've crossed this finish line and you've done it with so many other things in your busy lives. It's really a remarkable accomplishment and it doesn't happen with our friends and family in support of you. So to all the friends and family, wherever you are in the world watching this today, thank you. Thank you on behalf of our graduates. Let the commencement ceremony begin! [Music] [Applause] [Bagpipers Music] [Applause] Good evening everyone and welcome to Southern New Hampshire University's fall commencement! [Applause] I'm Dr. Kimberly Blanchett, Executive Director for our business programs. Will the faculty and graduates of
Southern New Hampshire University's Business programs please rise if you are able and remain standing? President LeBlanc, distinguished guests, faculty and administration, families, colleagues, and friends please join me in welcoming our newest graduates! Our business graduates will enter more complex, dynamic, interconnected and technology-driven organizations than the graduates before them. Through their studies at Southern New Hampshire University and their real world experiences, these graduates have acquired the knowledge skills and professional dispositions competencies necessary to operate comfortably in an uncertain and volatile global marketplace. Today these graduates transition from being yesterday's business students to being today's business professionals and tomorrow's business leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. I would now like to thank our faculty, associate Deans, academic advisors, and staff who have contributed to the success of our Business Program students.
Congratulations to the newest graduates of Southern New Hampshire University's business programs. Please be seated. Good afternoon everyone, my name is Dr. Jennifer Batchelor Senior Vice President at SNHU. It is my great pleasure to welcome all of the families, friends, faculty,
staff, and of course, our graduates who are with us here today or are watching via live stream. We're all very excited to celebrate Fall commencement with you today. I would like to now ask everyone if you are able, to please rise for the singing of our National Anthem sung this afternoon by Brittney Wright. Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming and the rockets red glare the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free [Applause] and the home of the brave! [Applause] Good afternoon everyone. Seriously? Good afternoon everyone! [Applause] I was worried because the earlier graduation ceremony was a little sleepy and I thought no, but this crowd has energy. [Cheering] I know the audience is amazing. Clearly they had unlimited
bloody marys wherever you went to brunch earlier. No, I'm teasing. By the way there's someone back in the corner, you don't know this, but we can almost not see any of you because of these spotlights but you have a great loud voice, I love you. Just hoot and holler the whole time wherever you are [Applause] Brittney, thank you , I had goosebumps, that was an amazing rendition of our national anthem. I'm Paul LeBlanc, I'm the President
here at Southern New Hampshire University. [Applause] Thank you. You just love me in the commercial I know what this really is all about. You probably could tell because I have four stripes on my sleeves and I get this bling. You can't see this, but all the names of my predecessors are here with the dates of their service and every year at graduation I check to see if they put my end date in yet, it's not there. So I'm still the President of Southern New Hampshire University for now and I want to welcome you all the SNHU class of 2022. This is an amazing day. Represented here in the room today are all 50 states and U.S
territories, 65 countries, an incredible range of cultures and faith traditions, many of them are going to be reflected in the caps you see moving up but it's like people come up later on they're great. I like to remind people of who came before so remember that we sit on the ancestral lands of the Abenaki Nation. We do so... [Applause] Thank you. ...in a city that was built on the backs of immigrants. This is a working city, a mill city. Many of you are the children of immigrants, as am I. It's also important to remember that your success, our success has its roots with those who came before us, including loved ones who may no longer be with us at least physically but certainly in our hearts. So let's start by taking a moment
of silence, whether it's in prayer, or a simple contemplation to honor all of those we hold dear in our hearts. Thank you. I also always want to take a moment to acknowledge our longtime closed caption provider Deborah Knapp and our sign language interpreters Heather and Kristen they're over here see them up there and I think sign language is actually perhaps the most beautiful form of communication and I'm going to demonstrate that with you and they've given me permission and they never know what this is going to look like, so here we go. When unicorns fly over the moon and land in the oceans to see whales and dolphins cavorting through the waves, they often plant a big fat kiss on the cheek of a whale or a seal. Isn't that great? It's just the best. Give a big round of applause for these guys. [Applause] One of my favorite things in commencement is what happens before commencement, where I go around and get to meet some of you and we take some selfies and pictures. I talk to
someone's mom back in New Jersey and on the phone and then we have what I discover what I'm reminded of, what I get reaffirmed every time, is this amazing diversity of students who attend SNHU, who graduate today. We've got people who came to us straight from high school. We've got working moms and dads who combine somehow careers and kids and soccer practices and their studies. I met someone's infant baby and she said that she was in labor but she had to hit the send button at midnight on Sunday and held on as long as she could to make sure she got her assignment in because then she could graduate on time and then have a baby. We have
lots of students who studied while on active deployment in our military [Applause] and certainly lots of veterans and military families who came to us after deployment. Raise your hand and whoop if you're a first-generation college student like me. [Applause] First-generation college student! This day changes the life of every generation in your family afterwards. Changes the trajectory of your family's lives and of course because life is complicated and messy we have people who are sitting here today having overcome illness whether the sort of you know the bad card that was dealt to them in life in one way or another and what they demonstrated like all of you is grit and perseverance and dedication to the work. It's an amazing group of graduates among them so I'd love to talk about every one of you we'd be here till next Thursday some of you have to get home for work. So let's give you a little bit
of a sampling. We have Rose with us today, she's one of our Global Education students from South Africa that's a program we started some years ago to work with Refugee populations. People have been displaced from their homelands often with violence and their background trauma, loss of loved ones. Rose is here, she traveled to New Hampshire for her commencement ceremony, she's one of 13 children, she's the first in her family to graduate with a college degree. [Applause] We have Mary who recently completed her program on her 73rd birthday.
It's a degree that was, as she says, a half century in the making. We have Ryan who bravely battled a pediatric brain tumor which impaired his vision, but has completed his bachelor's degree at the age of 18. [Applause] Actually I know Ryan because he's part of a program that our athletic teams do on campus.
It's still my favorite memory of Ryan, when our soccer coach came into the restaurant where we were celebrating our win of The Division II National Championship in men's soccer and had Ryan in his one arm and the trophy in the other. Ryan is here today graduating. Wonderful, wonderful young man. We have Marquita and Nikita, twins from Maryland who are celebrating their first graduation together. They've never been able to be in the same graduation ceremony
and now they they calibrated their completion date so they can march together. We have Tracy, a combat veteran and a mother of three who earned her associate's degree with New Hampshire College years ago and has come back to continue her education and has her bachelor's degree with us today. Lastly Catherine and Darian who worked for non-profits in New York City, completed their degrees to help show their four-year-old son that anything is possible. I think he's coming with them today in gown. There are lots of graduation ceremonies happening around the country at this time of year and again in May of course but they're very few like this, there are very few that have this array of talent. Amazing people, so proud of you. We often say you've seen that commercial I joked about where we say please stand up if you're this or for that.
I'd like you to all stand up. All stand up for a moment because you should be recognized collectively. and now what I want you to do, and maybe we'll get to be able to turn the lights up for a moment, is to look for your friends and families in the audience because no one walks across the stage today without their support, without their help. [Applause] [Applause] At each of our ceremonies, a student speaker is chosen through a selection process led by a university committee. We have over 4,000 graduates participating in our virtual ceremonies
this fall, and we're pleased to have our first virtual commencement chosen student speaker. I'm pleased to introduce Gustavo Perez. Gustavo is receiving his MBA, and today is also his birthday so congratulations Gustavo and happy birthday.
Greetings President LeBlanc, Board of Trustees distinguished faculty, staff, family, friends, and my fellow graduates. There are so many emotions running through me now. I'm overjoyed, energized but in some way relieved and still somewhat nervous. I still feel like I have an assignment due on Sunday. Some of these emotions that I'm going through now were transformed over the course of my journey with SNHU. You see, I used to be really scared. I was doubtful of myself and I was very nervous.
I remember the beginning like it was yesterday when I was not sure if I'd even be accepted. You see, I struggled to excel in my undergraduate studies where I was faced with so many challenges back then. That kept me from reaching my full potential. In fact, I was rejected by three schools before finding my way to Southern New Hampshire University. Even though I was admitted on a provisional basis, I knew that all I needed was a chance. That's what this experience has been for me. A chance, a hope for a better future for my family and myself. My higher education journey began over 20 years ago. I was the first in my family to
leave for college and though it took me longer than I had planned, I was the first to receive my bachelors and sure, I dreamed of one day getting an MBA, but over the years that dream seemed further and further away. Then came the pandemic and through the loss that I'm sure many of us felt, I took the time to reassess my life and my goals. And with the blessing and support of my loving wife, I took the first step that led me to be here in front of all of you. I
also started with fatherhood upon me and now I'm completing this journey as a father of three, so I want to again mention the support of my loving wife. Thomas Edison once said, our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed, is always to try just one more time. We all get to celebrate our accomplishment today, because we chose to not give up. My advice for my fellow graduates is to not be worried about being scared even a little doubt is okay. That being nervous is just fine. Let all that energy be the fuel that drives you to accomplish the next great chapter of your life.
Congratulations class of 2022. There's also one last little bit of legal piece a piece of work we have to do before we begin. Years ago I forgot to do this part, so there's a whole group of people who think they graduated from SHNU and maybe legally speaking they didn't, but don't tell them that, and to do this little bit of legal process, I'm going to invite Dr Kimberly Bogle Jubinville, our chief academic officer, up to help me confer the degrees. Kim. Will the class of 2022 please rise.
President LeBlanc, the candidates standing before you have successfully completed the course of studies prescribed by The Faculty of Southern New Hampshire University and have fulfilled all requirements of their chosen curricula. So here's the legal part: By the authority vested in me by The Board of Trustees of Southern New Hampshire University and by the general court of the State of New Hampshire I hereby confer the degrees of International Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, and Master of Science, Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science, Associate in Arts and Associate in Science with all the rights honors and privileges pertaining thereto. Congratulations. Please be seated and we'll begin [Applause] [Applause] Congratulations to the newest graduates of Southern New Hampshire University.
[Applause] On behalf of the alumni board of directors I am honored to officially welcome you to the SNHU Alumni Association. [Applause] Today, more than 200,000 SNHU alumni around the world congratulate you on your success and hope that you will be an active part of our Global SNHU community. At this time if you are one of our learners who has earned an Associates or Bachelor's degree, I invite you to participate in the ceremonial tradition of moving your tassel from the right side of your cap to the left. [Applause] [Music] As you go forth today, always remember our university's motto: Summa optimaqua, in English, the greatest and the best because indeed you are.
Congratulations again! [Applause] [Bagpipers Music] [Applause] You've finished your degrees!