Students Welcomed as Alumni at Delaney Reception
During the John J. Delaney ’50 Alumni Reception on May 19, held in The Duncan Family Sky Room at the Mac Mahon Student Center, the Class of 2016 was officially welcomed into a family of more than 30,000 alumni who call Saint Peter’s alma mater.
This class is special to Saint Peter’s University, because they were incoming freshman when Saint Peter’s was elevated to university status in 2012. They are the first class to complete their entire undergraduate education at Saint Peter’s University. Enthusiastic graduates hugged each other, and reminisced as they share their last few days at Saint Peter’s together. Former students, including a strong showing from GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) alumni, mingled with Saint Peter’s newest alumni, and supported the new graduating class.
In addition to providing the first opportunity to welcome the Class of 2016 as the newest members of the alumni community, the event also honored two graduates and a member of the faculty with awards to commemorate their outstanding contributions to the University community.
Maryellen Hamilton, Ph.D., professor and chair of the psychology department, and president of the faculty senate, was selected as the 2016 recipient of the George F. Johnson, S.J. Faculty Award for excellence in teaching and success in leading students to greater knowledge.
“I love my students,” Dr. Hamilton said to a roar of applause. “I made the decision to come to Saint Peter’s and I have never once regretted it. I love the support Saint Peter’s has afforded me.”
The James J. Damiano ’53 Award – named after a dedicated member of the Alumni Board from the Class of 1953 – was presented to two members of the graduating class who have demonstrated leadership and scholarship during their time at the University. Deirdre Martin ’16 received the award for the night session, and Lauren Squillante ’16 was honored with the award for the day session.
As a cap-off to the night’s festivities, Senior Class Gift Advancement Ambassadors presented University President Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., with a check for the Senior Class Gift. The gift was raised from contributions from the senior class, as well as an annual Senior Class Gift commitment from Anne Butler ’69. The class was able to raise $3,313, and break last year’s record.
“I stand before you tonight prepared to not only thank many of you for all the beautiful gifts of friendship and time you have shared with me, but also to share gratitude for your contributions to our class gift,” said Michelle Pérez, one of the Senior Class Gift Ambassadors.
The Delaney Reception, hosted by the Saint Peter’s University Office of Alumni Engagement and the Alumni Board – a committee that develops a liaison between Saint Peter’s University and its graduates to maintain and foster relationships with alumni through social, professional, spiritual and community service related activities – serves as a starting point for every member of the graduating class in remaining an integral part of the University family. During the event, the Class of 2016 discovered that commencement does not mark the end of their relationship with Saint Peter’s. It is only the beginning of a lifelong connection to the Peacock family.
On Monday, May 23, at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., each graduate will be conferred their degree. The tassel that dangles from their cap will be switched from the right side to the left – a symbol of their official transition from students to alumni. After the Delaney Reception, each graduate knows Saint Peter’s University is a place they can always call home.
To view photos from the evening, click here.