2018 Commencement - Be the Change in the World

Felician University celebrated the remarkable achievements of 576 graduates at the University’s Breslin Performing Arts Center in Lodi on May 19 at its 54th annual commencement exercises.

The School of Arts and Sciences and School of Education commencement was held in the morning, and Jaime Casap, Chief Educational Evangelist, Google, Inc. delivered the commencement address to several hundred future educators, scientists, and artists.

“You must be a life-long learner,” said Casap, as he looked out over a sea of eager faces proudly wearing their caps and gowns.  He asked, "What problem do you want to solve today and what did you learn here at Felician to solve that problem."  Casap contrasted that question with the mindset of yesteryears.  He contends, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" is no longer relevant in today's fast-paced and rapidly changing world.  "The company I work for, Google, didn't exist 20 years ago."

Felician University’s businessmen and women, nurses, and medical professionals gathered in the afternoon for the School of Business and School of Nursing commencement. The graduates were energized by the uplifting and highly motivational keynote address delivered by Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Wealth Management, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor, Morgan Stanley.

"Choose the option that positions you as a leader," she said. "Fear has no place in the success equation.  A whole lot of baseball players struck out before they hit their first home run.  You must be willing to take risks and make mistakes.  The gift is experience.  Do not accept what you see today.  Know your authentic self.  You have the power to shape the world around you."

The Class of 2018 Valedictorian and future lawyer, Kristina Tawadros, took time to reflect on the transformational education she received through her time at Felician, “My knowledge has expanded exponentially, and I have developed a sense of deep understanding of spiritual awareness that is engrossed in the Franciscan vision and I have learned and grown because of my peers, colleagues, and professors.”

Kristina’s parents immigrated to America from Egypt – to ensure that Kristina had the access to every opportunity. Kristina realized at a young age the importance of education, hard work, and dedication to achieving one’s dreams. She took a moment to offer a very heartfelt thanks her parents, and share with her fellow graduates that being Felician University’s 2018 valedictorian isn’t just for her, it’s also in recognition of the people who supported her and made her the strong woman she is today.

Kristina had an inspirational message for her classmates. “If you want to see change in the world and in your own lives, go out and make it happen for yourself because it all starts with one voice…your voice. So, let it be heard.”

President Prisco echoed Kristina’s message of encouraging change and leading a life of purpose in her annual "Charge to Graduates".

The beloved University president told the class of 2018: "Hold fast to your unique self...draw from all that you have learned here at Felician University...and do all you can to bring change to the world for the better."

"Remember that you remain a part of Felician University forever...and that Felician will remain forever connected to you." 

2018 Commencement - Morning
2018 Commencement - Afternoon