Recap of Commencement 2016
"We do not determine in its entirety what life brings to us, or throws at us. But we can authentically live the questions life asks of us, and to answer them with the blooming and development of our own being. "
- Commencement Speaker Naila Baloch
Lyndon’s 104th Commencement ceremony was held Sunday, May 15, 2016. Family, friends, faculty, staff, and the community came together to celebrate the accomplishments of the 288 graduates, one of the largest classes in recent years. It was a ceremony full of wisdom, laughter, memories, and pride. Said one guest, “that was the best, most fun, and most personable commencement ceremony I’ve ever attended.”
Despite the less than stellar weather, the tent was filled to capacity and the Alexander Twilight Theatre was also full of people watching the graduation ceremony. Chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges Jeb Spaulding reminded the graduates, “This is a commencement. This is the beginning. This is the next stage of a long adventure.” The Reverend Dr. Robert Potter, grandfather to graduate Nick Potter, delivered the ceremonial blessing.
As this was the Year of Compassion, the importance of relationships and people over objects and things were woven into the ceremony. He spoke directly to some notorious characters on campus, such as Trevor Updike, known for his constant lack of footwear. The President presented him with a pair of green and gold flip flops to wear when he walked across the stage to receive his diploma. A touching moment came when President Joe recounted his first interaction with graduate Ben Lewis and his green and black flannel hat back in 2012. Whenever the two met in the hall, the President would always remark about this very cool hat. One day during President Joe’s first year, Ben gifted him with a matching green and black hat, and the two agreed to both wear the hat at Lewis’s commencement. At the podium President Joe removed his traditional graduation cap and donned his flannel hat, only to have Ben Lewis stand in the audience to show his matching head wear, tassel and all.
Student speaker Tyler Cadorette, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Electronic Journalism Arts, told the audience “deciding to come to Lyndon State was the best decision I’ve ever made.” Cadorette has been a reporter, anchor, and producer for the Vermont Center for Community Journalism/News7 for the past two years. He was also actively involved in the campus community, serving as a resident assistant, office assistant to the president, and student representative to the alumni council. Cadorette congratulated his peers and expressed his gratitude for their four years together, “thank you for being the second family I never knew I needed, and one I couldn’t imagine my life without. That’s the Lyndon difference.” The full text of his speech can be found HERE.
This year’s guest speaker was Naila Baloch, associate chaplain at the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life at Middlebury College. She shared her journey from her home in Pakistan to the United States, where she earned degrees in astrophysics and comparative religion. She urged the graduates to not only find compassion for others, but for themselves. “So when you are going through trials and difficulties, let yourself feel the gentle rain of mercy and compassion, and let it ease your difficulty. Turn to what nourishes you, like the rain nourishes the earth, to sustain yourself. Do not lose sight of your inner radiance and beauty. And bless yourself and others with this most precious of qualities.” The full text of her speech can be found HERE.
After the graduates walked across the stage and were presented with their degrees, senior Andre Faivre and professor Derek Campbell lead the singing of the Lyndon State College Alma Mater. The final line, fitting of a graduation ceremony, reads,
“And though the future brings its sorrow
Or though the future brings us grace,
Thy memory fair beyond tomorrow
Time never shall efface.”
Congratulations to the class of 2016, and best of luck in your future endeavors!
"Deciding to come to Lyndon State was the best decision I've ever made. . . . Thank you for being the second family I never knew I needed, and one I couldn't imagine my life without. That's the Lyndon difference."
- Tyler Cadorette, class speaker, Electronic Journalism Arts
Lyndon State's 104th Commencement Ceremony
Tracy Sherbrook, Assistant to the Academic Dean