Fairfield Now - Fall 2008
By Meg McCaffrey
President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., told the more than 1,200 graduates at Fairfield University's 58th commencement exercises, "The very best advice we can give you in these times of uncertainty, and the very best thing you can do, is to abide in a loving and trustful anticipation of what is to be."
On May 18, the University awarded 1,233 degrees to the Class of 2008, including 890 bachelor's degrees, 321 master's degrees, 19 certificates of advanced study, and three associate's degrees.
Under sunny skies on Bellarmine Hall Lawn, Fr. von Arx reminded the new graduates of the "strong and steady current in Jesuit education" of personal moral responsibility. "It is far from inevitable that our confusing and uncertain world will be a better place, but it will be if you accept your responsibility to make it so and act on that responsibility."
It was a full circle moment for Fr. von Arx, as he addressed the Class of 2008 - the class that arrived on campus just after he was named the eighth president in July 2004. He has said he wanted to speak to "my graduating class" at their Commencement and share in their accomplishments, because they had been so welcoming and helpful to him during his years at Fairfield.
He expressed his hope that graduates' lives will be infused with faith, hope, and love - and not just romantic love.
"I also mean love of neighbor and love of God and, most relevant to our task here as educators and yours as learners, the love of something that you will do with your lives: your passion, your vocation."
Stacey M. Molski '08, an art history major and theater minor from Middletown, N.J., delivered the valedictory address, urging graduates to find their passion in life. "Your Jesuit education has enabled you to develop personally so that you now have the power to do what you wish with what you have been given. Do not allow yourself to wait for that day in the future to create your happiness."
President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. confers an honorary doctor of laws degree upon Francis (Fay) T. Vincent Jr.
Ravdeep Singh Chanana receives his bachelor of science degree from the University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business. Gleeful grads Joy Polignano and Emily Faherty.
Marketing major Joey LaCroix holds his diploma aloft.
Honorary degree recipient the Rev. John Halligan, S.J., with Fr. von Arx and Dr. Elizabeth Gardner.
Members of the Board of Trustees pose with Fr. von Arx before the ceremony.
Honorary degree recipient Sr. Julianna Poole, S.S.N.D., who retired after 60 years of teaching (the last 20 at Fairfield), with Fr. von Arx.
Engineering graduate students process onto Bellarmine Lawn.
The Class of 1958 is all smiles as they proceed to their chairs.
Stacy Marie Molski, an art history major, delivers the valedictory address.