While acknowledging commencement as a time to look back on one's hard work and accomplishments, the speakers at the School of Nursing's hooding and awards ceremony all urged the graduates to think big and aim high for the future.
"You are so much more than the Class of 2014," said Margaret McAlvanah, Clinical Instructor, who delivered the address to graduates. She refered to them as the "professionally educated baccalaureate men and women of 2014," and expressed pride that her students would carry on where she left off.
McAlvanah, who can no longer work in a hospital as a result, shared the story of her near-death experience. "The nurses were there for me," she said, and many of them were CNR graduates and students. "They advocated for me," she said.
"I hope I never get sick again," she said, "but if I do, please give me a CNR nurse to be my advocate."
Meggy Sambour '14 took a trip down memory lane, recalling the hours of study and many classes that brought her and her fellow graduates to this moment. "We've come a long way," she said, "but my pride today surpasses that feeling from our first day of wearing our white uniforms."
Liza Baird-Appiah '14 represented graduates in the School of Nursing's RN-to-BSN program. She challenged her peers to follow the motto of The College of New Rochelle: "Wisdom for Life."
Baird-Appiah said nurses should continue to educate themselves, and not just adapt to a changing world, but determine that change as well. "We should be full partners ... in redesigning health care in the United States," she said. "We are obligated to contribute to the community."
President Judith Huntington thanked the faculty of the School of Nursing for their commitment to their students and the profession. She told the graduates, "you inspire me -- you give me strength to further the College's mission."
Huntington said that CNR nurses are recognized for their education, their caring, and their advocacy for patients. "I know you will make us all very proud."