May 11, 2015-

Watch a video of President Brown delivering his speech here or read the full text below.

My thanks to each of you for gathering here today.

It is a truly joyous moment for all of us – filled, also, with gravity and ceremony as each of our students make their way into the world.

Our thanks to Reverend Crowley for his words to each of us. He is the pastor for many of our students and it is so meaningful that he has joined us today

My thanks to our distinguished Board of Trustees, our esteemed and dedicated faculty.

Our great thanks to alumni, to parents, children, relatives and friends who join us

– and to those who share the platform today:   Our honored degree recipients, Carolyn Rafaelian, Dr. Stephen Boswell and Brian McGrory – –  we are honored that each of you has joined us today.


Finally, and most importantly, to our graduates who are about to endure a few more moments of advice before we set you free.

For your part, there have been plenty of things that have challenged each of you while you were at Mount Ida:

  • Roommates you would like to forget
  • The RA that made you crazy
  • Exams that seemed impossible
  • Professors that just did not understand that you really, really should have a B on that paper
  • And, yes, No noise – including heavy breathing – in Malloy after 10:00 p.m.

As maddening as these all were, you survived and more importantly, you learned how to deal with and manage each challenge.  You learned understanding, patience, and tolerance not only about history, biology, design and math.  You gained wisdom to lead a successful life and you did that here.

So, today, when we take away the RA’s, the exams, the salad bar, the locker rooms –  – when all of that disappears in a few hours what’s left when you drive away down Carlson Avenue.

What remains are the important things – your achievements – as scholars and athletes – volunteers and – most wonderfully – the friendships you have made – the people you have met here, who have helped build your life experience – many who will be with you for life and who helped you build another thing that you will take with you down Carlson Avenue –

Your dreams – which we nurtured and cultivated so that you can begin you next life story as the next great artist, sports manager, criminologist, bio researcher, hygienist, director of a dental clinic, fashion, interior, graphic or visual designer or anything and everything in your heart and mind.

As I have been privileged to come to know many of you – you helped me through my first years here  – it is pretty clear to me that there will be no corridor too narrow nor door too small to stop you from moving toward those great spaces that will let you fulfill each and every dream.

In fact, as I have come to know you over these years, I see that each of you embodies the spirit of our new college shield, which we adopted while you were here and which symbolizes your amazing potential. It is very different from other colleges as we are very different –

  • Its lines are not intended to be perfectly printed, but, rather, it is hand drawn to evoke your hands- your energy in the classroom, on the playing fields and in the community
  • There are no limits to the Mount Ida shield. Its edges are open – as we are open to every person, to diversity and culture from every source. Our strength is in our differences – and in our differences we come together as one great college.
  • At its base are mountains – our mountain – symbolizing your strength of character and spirit. The mountains are close together and well defined, representing our years together – but the shield then moves outward and upward as you do today. With the college as your foundation, toward your future and limitless potential.

And like our shield I too see the future as I look out now at your faces – the diverse and wonderful faces of a new America – each of you is looking beyond me, beyond this tent and beyond this day – as you should – impatient and full of energy – and looking at each you as I am now – as we all are on this stage I know that future – our future and yours – way beyond this mountain – is in very, very good hands.

And so, with that wish for each and every one of you:

By the authority vested in me by our Board of Trustees and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as President of Mount Ida College, I declare these proceedings open for the purpose of awarding degrees to our graduates and thereby welcoming each of you into the distinguished fellowship of educated women and men.

And, oh yes, before we start and one more time —Go Mustangs!

May 11, 2015 – The flowers bloomed on cue and the sun came out as 289 students, many the first in their families to do so, received their degrees on the campus of Mount Ida College in Newton on Monday, May 11.


Keynote speaker Brian McGrory, editor of the Boston Globe and its website, shared his wisdom and humor with the students as he told stories of how he has achieved his life-long dream of working for the Boston Globe – the only place he has ever wanted to be.   Along the way, he shared, the most important lesson he learned, “people with the highest character come out on top.” Watch McGrory’s speech here.

He was presented with the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Also being honored for excellence in their field were Stephen L. Boswell, MD President and CEO of Fenway Health, the largest LGBT health and research facility in the United States, who received an honorary Doctor of Applied Science.

Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, Creative Director and CEO of ALEX and ANI, LLC., received an honorary Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of her entrepreneurial spirit and artistic creativity within a sustainable business model.

The students who graduated with Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees represented the four schools; the School of Applied Science, the School of Business, the School of Design and the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

May 2015-

With the ever-increasing demand for science education on today’s college campuses, Mount Ida College has started construction for a new science center equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories, classrooms, equipment and resources to provide an exceptional teaching and learning environment for Mount Ida College’s applied science programs.

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“We have invested more than $25 million on our campus over the past three years,” says President Barry Brown.  “Our long history of success in the sciences, as evidenced by our programs in animal science, dental technology and forensic science, prompted us to establish the School of Applied Sciences in 2012.”

As the demand continues to rise for programs in biology, chemistry and other basic and laboratory sciences, “this is the next logical step.  We need to assure the Mount Ida student that our facilities match the high level of our faculty and academic programs,” says Brown.

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“The facility will include new biology and chemistry labs, classroom space for undergraduates, audio visual resources, along with collaborative meeting spaces and a central auditorium,” says Marc Margulies, FAIA, founder of Margulies-Perruzzi Architects which is spearheading the design. “The new center at the School of Applied Sciences will expand existing campus facilities, which when redeveloped will provide an opportunity to enhance existing undergraduate and graduate course offerings and programs to prepare students for careers in sciences.”

The School of Applied Sciences offers bachelor’s degrees in Biology, Dental Hygiene, Forensic Science, Funeral Home Management, Veterinary Technology as well as a Dental Science/Dental Hygiene Degree Completion program.  Associate’s degrees are offered in Funeral Service, Veterinary Technology and Dental Hygiene.