Saint Peter’s College Celebrates 121st Commencement

Family, friends and the Saint Peter’s College community cheered and celebrated the Saint Peter’s College Class of 2012 at the 121st commencement exercises at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J. on May 21, 2012. Eight hundred and seventy two degrees were awarded at the graduate and undergraduate levels at the final commencement exercises for Saint Peter’s College before the College officially becomes Saint Peter’s University in the fall.

The wind and rain did not stop the large crowd from attending the momentous occasion and expressing their excitement during the ceremony. All of the degree recipients wore huge smiles as they walked across the stage in front of their families, classmates and teachers who made such a significant impact on their lives. The sentiment at the event was bittersweet as both of the Class of 2012 valedictorians expressed.

“I am an international student from Nepal so when I first came here four years ago I thought I wanted to get through my four years as quickly as possible so I could actually go on to do things with my life,” said Rabindra Shrestha, Class of 2012 valedictorian. “Today, as I stand here before you all, I wish I could put the past four years of my life on repeat.”

Bikesh Dhunju, Class of 2012 valedictorian, also expressed similar emotions. “Saint Peter’s has taught us to be men and women for others and gave us the opportunity to meet students from so many diverse backgrounds. I know I have made lifelong friends here.”

The crowd also had the opportunity to hear inspiring words from the commencement speaker, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, an active advocate and renowned lecturer in world affairs. Ambassador Chowdhury is regarded as one of this century’s most distinguished diplomats. He has a lengthy and prominent career of diplomatic service for Bangladesh and executive work for the United Nations. He has served in many diplomatic posts that culminated as ambassador and permanent representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York.

“Take initiative in your hands without waiting for others to tell you what to do,” said Ambassador Chowdhury. “Listen to the voice inside of you. Your personal actions and your collaborative efforts will lay the foundations of a world where the culture of peace is integral to our existence.”

The College also conferred honorary doctorate degrees, honoris causa, upon Ambassador Chowdhury and The Most Reverend John W. Flessey, S.T.D., D.D., the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark and the Titular Bishop of Allegheny.

At the end of the ceremony, President Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., conferred the degrees upon the Class of 2012, and amidst cheers from the recent graduates, said, “Class of 2012, I speak from everyone at the College when I offer our sincerest congratulations. Today we proudly celebrate your academic achievements marking the past few years of hard work, dedication and determination. We also welcome your families and loved ones, honoring the sacrifices that they have made and the support they have given you to help you reach this moment. We have prepared you to not only earn a living, but to also lead a worth living and a life for others.”



To view additional photos from the commencement exercises on Facebook, please click here.