Rivier University Commencement highlights innovation, technology and service

Rivier University Commencement

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Rivier University celebrated its 83rd Commencement on May 12, awarding 689 degrees to doctoral, post-master’s, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degree graduates. The ceremony highlighted the importance of innovation, technology and service to the 21st-century workforce and making a difference in the world.

Rivier University honored two exceptional New Hampshire business and social entrepreneurs, Jeremy and Elizabeth Hitchcock, with honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. Best known for their contributions to entrepreneurialism and technological innovation, the Hitchcocks’ business development efforts play a key role in advancing New Hampshire’s economy. The Hitchcocks live in Manchester, New Hampshire; they own and operate high-tech, management and retail businesses in the state. Deeply committed to community and workforce development, they invest in startup companies’ growth and support causes devoted to education, technology, public service, and the arts and culture.

Mr. Hitchcock’s Commencement address focused on technology and the humanities as tools to make a difference in graduates’ lives and in the lives of others. He encouraged graduates to set goals with specific intention for themselves and for their future contributions to the world. “STEM is a basic skill of the 21st century,” said Jeremy Hitchcock. “While I am a practitioner of science and engineering and technology, we must remember that we’re humans in the end. I do love technology—but my greatest moments of happiness have not come from the breakthroughs of technology but have been based on outcomes of people.”

Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier’s President, offered well wishes to the graduates. “Congratulations to all our graduates of the class of 2018,” said Sister Paula. “This is a singular achievement in your life and will serve as a strong foundation of the core mission of Rivier University to transform hearts and minds to serve the world.”

Speaking on behalf of the undergraduate class, Nashua native Haley Goodspeed, B.S. in Business Management, magna cum laude, commented on graduates’ preparation for civic engagement. “At Rivier, we learned how to achieve success in serving our community and the world, with humility,” said Goodspeed. “Encouraged to understand and sympathize with others’ situations and suffering, we were taught to be compassionate, to act ethically, and to be the good we’d like to see in the world.”

Scott Congdon, M.S. in Nursing, of Merrimack, NH, representing students in graduate programs, urged classmates to find fulfillment in service to others. “I challenge you to make a significant difference in the life of another; in doing so, you will make a most significant difference in your own.”

Advancing its efforts in STEM education, Rivier University plans to construct a new, high-technology Science Center. The 30,000-square-foot facility will replace the current science building and provide leading-edge resources to faculty and students in the areas of biology, biotechnology, chemistry, physics, and nursing. The Center will complement resources for students majoring in computer science and cybersecurity management.

Offering an education grounded in the liberal arts and Catholic tradition featuring the core curriculum, Journeys of Transformation, the University prepares students for the 21st-century workforce. Rivier’s mission to transform hearts and minds to serve the world is demonstrated through its academic programs in nursing, public health, education, counseling, psychology, business, natural and computer sciences, and the humanities. New for fall 2019, the University will offer majors in sport management and cybersecurity management.