Mount Ida College cel­e­brated the Class of 2014 and pre­sented hon­orary degrees to a group of influ­en­tial leaders on Friday, May 16, 2014 during the undergraduate and graduate cer­e­mony of the College’s 115th com­mence­ment exer­cises. The cel­e­bra­tion was held on the Lower Athletic Field at Mount Ida before some 325 stu­dents, college leaders, fac­ulty, staff, family, and friends.

Mount Ida pre­sented hon­orary degrees to U.S Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, first-term Congressman from the 4th District of Massachusetts; Sarah-Ann Shaw, Boston’s first African American female broadcast journalist and a prominent civil rights activist; and Steven H. Wright, who is cur­rently the exec­u­tive partner overseeing the management of Holland & Knight’s Boston office.

Sev­eral promi­nent themes emerged during the com­mence­ment addresses. Grad­u­ates were urged to serve, pursue their dreams and promise to always believe that you’re never too young to change the world.

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Speaking at the ceremony, Mount Ida Pres­i­dent Barry Brown urged the class of 2014 to take the spirit, new ideas and transformative culture of Mount Ida with them, as they shape not only their future, but the future of America.

“At this great small college, we see America’s strength, new ideas, new thinking, new energy that no society has yet embraced – it is our strength, your strength,” said Brown. “At this celebration is the new America – knowing each of you as I do – it is going to be a strong, vibrant and exciting place.”

In his address, Brown asked grad­u­ates to reflect on the past and look forward to an even brighter future. “I know the future, our future is in good hands,” he concluded.

Throughout the cer­e­mony, grad­u­ates, and atten­dees shared their exhil­a­ra­tion and con­grat­u­la­tions on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #MountIda14.

The audience applauded hon­orary degree recip­i­ents who were recognized for their achieve­ments: Congressman Kennedy for his commitment to social justice and economic equality; Shaw as a “trailblazer” and for setting a new standard for broadcast journalism in New England; and Wright, as an “esteemed litigator and philanthropist.”

In his commencement address, Kennedy asked graduates to make a promise.

“What I ask of you today is that you won’t ever let anyone say the following four words to you:  you are too young,” he said, who was met with resounding applause.Promise that so long as you are blessed with it, you will wear your youth as a badge of honor.”

He said his own journey has had both triumphs and challenges — from serving as a member of the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, to his first day at Harvard Law School, and to serving now as a Congressman of the 4th District of Massachusetts: “We’ll make some really big mistakes, learn a thing or two, and gain more confidence, intuition and understanding every day.”

“But as the days and years pass, we’ll also lose something. Our youth – that particular mix of fearlessness, hopefulness, and inventiveness shining boldly and brightly in each of you today.”

To grad­u­ates, he offered this piece of advice: “Class of 2014, your youth is your gift. It is fleeting and fast so own it, cherish it, and put it to work.”

“You are not too young. You are not too naïve. You are not too inexperienced. You are exactly what your country needs,” Kennedy concluded.

For her part, Senior Class President Sonia Wiggins, a fashion merchandising and marketing major, deliv­ered an inspiring speech to her fellow graduates.

Wiggins began by thanking her family, friends, President Brown, faculty, and fellow class officers. At Mount Ida, Wiggins said, she and her peers have been afforded lim­it­less oppor­tu­ni­ties to chart their career paths and succeed according to their own personal definition of success.

“We have succeeded thanks to all that Mount Ida has provided us,” she said.

The annual presentation of the Ronald J. Lettieri Award for Excellence in Teaching, Mount Ida’s highest teaching honor, was awarded during the ceremony to Jeffrey Megna, Chair of the Funeral Service Education Department.

Presented by Alan J. Whitcomb, Dean of Curriculum & Academic Quality, Megna was honored for his “lifelong commitment to teaching.”

“Teaching is in your DNA. You always have time for your students,” Whitcomb noted at the presentation of the award.

Mount Ida also recognized its alumni as Ronald Akie, Vice President for Academic Affairs, welcomed the class of 2014 to the alumni family.

In closing remarks, alumna Stacey Dorsey ’02, issued her charge to the newest group of Mount Ida alumni: “Stay connected, be proud, bring back your achievements and never lose touch.”

At the end of the cer­e­mony, family, friends, faculty and staff cheered as grad­u­ates participated in the graduation tradition of moving their tassels on their graduation caps from the right to left side – officially becoming graduates of the class of 2014.

Enjoy commencement and graduation celebration photo galleries for select candid images after each ceremony and other related festivities during commencement week on the College’s flickr page. Please note, it may take a week or so for professional images and the College’s images to be available online.

Don’t see yourself in the galleries?

Don’t worry, we have you covered. A professional photographer and videographer were on hand to capture photographs of each graduate as he/she crosses the stage. These photographs and videos will be made available for purchase.

To order your photos, please check your email for an order form, or reach out to Hockmeyer Studios directly at (978) 388-9832 or customerservice@hockstudio.com

To order a copy of the video, please fill out this form.

Consider milk.

Known to increase strength and build strong bones. An essential component of the morning meal for hundreds of years, and perhaps, best known for its advertising tagline…”Got Milk”.

For one undergraduate researcher at Mount Ida College, there is much more to this most famous of liquids than meets the eye.

Lauren Metzler, a senior biology major with minors in psychology, recently completed a group biochemistry research project focusing on the extraction of protein in milk. Metzler, along with her research group comprised of five other biology majors, are using their results to determine if this type of research could relate to product cost.

“We completed an experiment based upon the gels of milk and different percentages of methanol and Bromophenol blue to determine which percentage worked the best,” notes Metzler, who was recently accepted into the Clinical Laboratory Sciences graduate program at UMass Lowell. “We worked together as a team; six brains are always better than one.”

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Since her high school days in Dracut, Massachusetts, Metzler wanted to participate in biological research. She realized early on that hands-on lab experience would bolster her graduate school applications.

“The biology program at Mount Ida is quite diverse. It ranges from environmental biology to in depth learning about cellular functions and specialty research,” says Metzler. “My professors are extremely helpful and knowledgeable, most having worked in the field and teach based upon their own lengthy career experience.”

Obtaining real-world experience in the research and medical fields, were opportunities Metzler took advantage of during her four years at Mount Ida. Completing multiple internships gave her hands-on real world experience and confidence needed to move forward in her career.

“My sophomore year, I had the opportunity to intern with the Newton Public Health Department,” notes Metzler, who helped the department design a new alcohol licensing program and also assisted in flu clinics and field health inspections.

Currently, she is employed at Benchmark Senior Living where she works closely with people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

“My experiences at Mount Ida, interacting with my professors and classmates, the campus pre-medical society and career services, have all contributed to my pursuing a rewarding career in public health research,” Metzler concludes.

Although science is always a top priority for Metzler, for now, she is concentrating on her upcoming big conquest: graduation.

As Vice President of Mount Ida’s Class of 2014, she echoed the importance of remembrance for her fellow classmates:

“Remember these four years as something that was amazing, an experience that we should never forget.”

For more information on the Biology Program at Mount Ida, please visit our degree program homepage.

For over the past decade, Mount Ida College has worked through the Learning Circle Program (TLC) to develop a robust Peer Leader/Educator Program on campus. Each year, students serve as program leaders and mentors with the goal of encouraging their peers to make healthy and productive lifestyle choices that support their academic, personal and career goals.

In 2013, TLC expanded its Peer Leader/Educator Program and began training students to become Certified Peer Educators, through the Bacchus Network’s Student Leader Empowerment Training Program. The program prepares its students leaders to model healthy lifestyle choices and educate their peers on a variety of topics essential to student success. This past year, three TLC students trained and earned certification:

Cassie Durand ‘16, Veterinary Technology
Molly Christian ‘16, Psychology and Forensic Science
Dane Finis ‘14, Business Administration

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In addition to providing support and resources to students, TLC Peer Leaders plan and co-facilitate educational programs throughout the year. In 2014, the peer leaders facilitated two TLC community meetings: Utilizing Campus Resources and Sophomore Slump. The Peer Leaders/Educators also participated in a service learning project at West Roxbury Urban Science Academy in April to a group of High School juniors. Their presentation covered information about attending college, including choosing a college, financial aid/resources, campus-life, and finding your passion.

Stephanie Venizelos, who oversees the Peer Leader/Educator Program and facilities student training, recently presented “Training and Empowering Students for Peer Education” at the New England Educational Opportunity Association Conference. Venizelos is currently training a group of six Mount Ida students to become certified Peer Leaders for the fall.

To learn more about TLC at Mount Ida, please visit our online webpage.