University Commencement

Dear Graduates,

The Centennial Class of 1972 extends its warmest greetings and congratulations to the Sesquicentennial Class of 2022. You are our successors and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Much has changed over the past fifty years yet we have much in common. We had the same hopes and fears as you when we graduated. Like you, most of us were first generation college students. We appreciate the challenges that you face as you begin the next stage in your lives.

We called it the College.  You call it the University. We were right then. You are right now. To us it will always be the College.

Fifty years ago computers were in their infancy. Cell phones did not exist. Today we cannot live without them. Cell phones have more computing power than the main frames of fifty years ago.

When we came of age our lives were influenced by the Vietnam War, MLK and riots at the 1968 Democratic convention. As you come of age, war and political unrest are forces that are shaping you, as well. History doesn’t repeat itself but it certainly rhymes in iambic pentameter.

O’Toole Library and Pope Hall were brand new buildings 50 years ago. Ground had not yet been broken for the Yanitelli Recreational Life Center. Today, the campus also includes the magnificent Mac Mahon Student Center and dorms.

We are all fortunate to have attended the school during the administrations of transformative presidents. Rev. Victor R. Yanitelli, S.J., was our president. He laid the foundation for what Saint Peter’s is today and the Recreational Life Center is named in his honor because of what he achieved.

You are fortunate to have attended the school during the administration of Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D. He guided the school to the next level with new academic programs, 21st century facilities and University status. We can only hope that fifty years from now a Cornacchia Hall will be a center of activity.

In fifty years you may write a similar letter to the Bicentennial Class of 2072. It will probably be in the form of a hologram or some technology that we cannot imagine. But, we trust, it will convey the same warm feelings that we are trying to convey to you.

There is so much more we can say but less is more. We all received a high-quality Jesuit education. We were all prepared to begin careers or continue with more advanced studies. We all learned to appreciate each other and our differences. Cura personalis is more than just an expression. May the Force be with you all.

The Class of 1972