PROFESSOR HADLEY P. ARKES ADDRESSES 1,080 SETON HALL UNIVERSITY GRADUATES AT 156th BACCALAUREATE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY WITH INSPIRING OBSERVATIONS ON “THE FAMILY AND THE LAWS”
FATHER IAN KER AND PROFESSOR ARKES RECEIVED HONORARY DOCTORATE OF HUMANE LETTERS
Hadley P. Arkes, the Edward N. Ney Professor of Jurisprudence and American Institutions at Amherst College, addressed the 1080 undergraduates, who became alumni of one of the nation’s leading Catholic universities, at Seton Hall University’s 156th Baccalaureate Commencement Ceremony held May 20 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
“This is a day when we celebrate again the parents who have given their names to children, borne the responsibilities for them, and the students who have borne their own responsibility, in a handsome way, by working faithfully to justify the sacrifices made for them, and to learn what this faculty has sought to teach. Mr. President, I’m touched by the honor you’ve settled on me today; I’m grateful to take up the degree awarded by this College, and I’m proud to join these graduates and the parents who brought them to us as gifts,” said Professor Arkes.
Professor Arkes, also a Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, is a leading expert on American political philosophy, public policy, and constitutional law spoke on “The Family and the Laws”. He received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters.
In addition to Professor Arkes, Father Ian Ker received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his monumental contribution to the study of the intersection of Catholic thought and English literature.
Bradley Brennan Childs, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Summa Cum Laude, delivering the Valedictory Address.
“We came onto campus 4 years ago with different backgrounds and different life experiences. We leave this campus 1,359 days later as a collective unit – we are the class of 2013. No matter the school we come from - whether Nursing or Theology, Business or Education, Diplomacy or Arts & Sciences - we are all members of this one University community. Let us put aside the joy of our memories and the excitement of our future for the time being. For as Mother Teresa said: “be happy in the moment, that’s enough.” At this moment, we are in absolute bliss. We are all Seton Hall University Pirates – and it does not get any better than that,” said Childs.
Quemars Ahmed, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Diplomacy and International Relations Magna Cum Laude, delivered the Salutatory Address.
“I think that the legacy of the Class of 2013 will be defined not so much by what we’ve done these past four years, but by what we will do in the years to come . . . I know many of our graduating class have achieved so much and have so much to be proud of already, but we also have the opportunity to build off our Seton Hall experience and continue to do great things. We have the opportunity to build our legacy,” said Ahmed.
In addressing the graduates, The Most Reverend John J. Myers, Archbishop of Newark, said, “Saint Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton’s life was a life of faith, of prayer, and of service. May yours be the same! I am certain that she looks with pride on each and every one of you. As a parent, she blesses the sacrifices of your parents. As a servant leader two hundred years ago, Elizabeth Seton hopes to see her vision fulfilled by you. I ask Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton to bless each and every graduate, your parents, those who have helped and supported you leading to this day and to continue to bless her university.”
University President A. Gabriel Esteban charged the Class of 2013 to take the knowledge and values they received at Seton Hall into God’s world.
“I charge you to value the people around you —more than the things around you. I charge you to discharge your acquired knowledge with wisdom and compassion. I charge you to serve others and make this a better world,” said President Esteban.
Seton Hall graduated approximately 2,232 undergraduate and graduate students this Commencement Season. Separate ceremonies were held for Seton Hall University’s 1,152 graduate students, who became 2013 graduates.