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Link to full video from Commencement ceremony: https://boxcast.tv/view/commencement-2019-598707
HAMBURG, N.Y. – Hilbert College held its 58th annual commencement ceremony on May 11 at the Watermark Wesleyan Church.
Commencement speaker Sister Edmunette Paczesny, FSSJ, Ph.D., President Emerita at Hilbert, urged the Class of 2019, “You learned there are certain values in life that supersede others and you learned to prioritize them. Make your choices because they will enrich you.”
“I urge you to introduce knowledge where ignorance exists,” Sister Edmunette continued. “To have faith where there is disbelief. To make everything and everyone you touch just a little bit better.”
Hilbert President Michael S. Brophy, Ph.D. and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Father Michael Sajda, O.F.M. Conv., presented the President’s Medal to two members of the Hilbert community, Dr. Amy Smith and Anthony Wiertel. The President’s Medal, one of Hilbert College’s highest honors, recognizes faculty, staff, and members of board of trustees for extraordinary commitment and service to higher education, and for exemplifying Franciscan values. Dr. Smith has worked at Hilbert since 1996. She is a professor in the English Department, the director of the Honors Program, and currently serves as secretary of the Faculty Senate. Wiertel has worked at Hilbert for 38 years. He is the Assistant Vice President of Business/Finance and currently serves as chairperson of Staff Senate.
President Brophy also presented the Hilbert College Medal to Father Michael Sajda, O.F.M. Conv. The Hilbert College Medal is presented to those who embody Franciscan values, demonstrate excellence in their profession or career, and excellence in community service. Father Michael is currently president of St. Francis High School and chair of the Hilbert College Board of Trustees. He served as Interim President at Hilbert from September 2018 to December 2018. He stepped down from the board during his interim tenure and returned to the role of board chair upon the appointment of Hilbert’s fourth president, Dr. Michael Brophy, in January 2019. Father Michael’s interim leadership provided continuity and a positive outlook for the Hilbert community.
Sister Edmunette was also presented with an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
President Brophy conferred master’s degrees, in addition to four- and two-year degrees to graduates in the Class of 2019.
Top student awards that were presented at Hilbert’s 58th commencement include:
Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 800 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs in criminal justice administration and public administration, including a track in health administration.
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