Seton Hall graduated 1,465 undergraduate students, making the Class of 2017 the largest in the University's history.
In addition, 1,116 graduate students received master's and doctorate degrees, making the total graduates for this Commencement season, 2,581.
With this year's graduates Seton Hall reached an historic milestone, surpassing 100,000 living alumni in its worldwide network. Elianni De La Cruz, an economics major from Passaic who graduated magna cum laude, was celebrated for being the graduate who put the University over the mark.
They represent the only known triplets to graduate together at the university and are the first generation in their family to graduate from college. Adrianna is a nursing major; Anthony a Business Administration major with a dual concentration in Sport Management and Marketing; and Leo, the oldest of the trio by a few minutes, is a History major with a minor of Political Science.
Delivering the commencement address was Matthew W. Wright '89, founder and president of Disciplina Group LLC, which includes Disciplina Advisors, a risk consultancy firm, and Disciplina Capital Management, an investment advisory firm.
Prior to founding the Disciplina Group, he served as vice chancellor for investments and chief investment officer of Vanderbilt University, the first African American to hold this title at a university with more than a billion dollar endowment. Mr. Wright received a Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in finance from Seton Hall and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester.
Wright told the graduates to "embrace change, take risks, face challenges and makes sure to listen to that still small voice within" and to see this day as "the start of a journey where you ultimately find your purpose."
Also addressing the graduates was Cardinal Joseph William Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark and the President of Seton Hall's Board of Regents and Chair of its Board of Trustees.
Cardinal Tobin pointed out: "We call this day commencement. Suggesting that rather than simply marking a milestone, something new begins today." He also noted that the graduates now have the skills necessary to "contribute consciously to the good of the state, nation, world and local communities where you live."
Providing the charge to the Class of 2017 was Mary J. Meehan '72/M.A. '74/Ph.D. '01, Interim President.
Reflecting on the day, President Meehan, expressed that this year's graduating class demonstrates academic excellence infused with Catholic ideals that will enable them to be strong, ethical leaders who can affect positive change.
She advised the graduates, "Our society is moving quickly into a more 'cognitive' age, as they say, in which we all are compelled to learn new ways to process and connect information - but information or knowledge alone are not enough to face these big questions. Your new skills, supported by reason and faith, by ethics and compassion give you the kind of perspectives you'll need as servant leaders to renew the society you have inherited and to infuse your communities with values that affirm life and justice. The answers you discover will not only define you but will impact countless others."
"So, fellow graduates, let the content of our futures be defined by the horizons of our present dreams. Let our voices and actions be strong against every injustice encountered along the way. Let our minds be steadfast, our hearts be open, and our spirits be willing," said Augustine "Gus" Glazov delivering the valedictory address.
Glazov is from Belle Mead, NJ and graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences with a B.A. in Philosophy and a minor in Music Performance, Summa Cum Laude. He has completed internships at the Essex County Prosecutor's Office and at the Worldwide Orphans Foundation. His studies in philosophy has led to his presentations at conferences throughout the nation as well as participation in the Ethics Bowl Team.
He has actively performed in shows and concerts with both the theatre and music departments as well as debuting in Puccini's Turandot with Teatro Lirico D'Europa in Jacksonville, FL and the Newberry Opera House in South Carolina. For three years he served as a tutor-in-residence for hundreds of students with Housing and Residence Life. Following graduation he will work for Teach for America in Appalachia, before attending law school.
Teagan A. Sebba, from Fort Collins, Colorado, College of Arts and Sciences, graduated Cum Laude and presented remarks from the Student Government Association, where she served as president from 2015-2017. A political science major, and sister of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, she plans to attend law school in the fall. Sebba urged her fellow graduates to "Never doubt the power you have in your voice to make change."
Francesca Regalado, School of Diplomacy and International Relations, came to the University from Manila, Philippines, and presented greetings from the Senior Class. Graduating with a double degree in Diplomacy and International Relations, and Modern Languages (Russian and Chinese), with minors in Economics and Asian Studies Summa Cum Laude, she held internships at The New York Times, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Philippine Consulate-General.
On campus, she served as managing editor of The Diplomatic Envoy, and held leadership positions in the Multicultural Advisory Committee, the Student Government Association and University and Chamber Choirs.
She offered: "We will pave the way for future Pirates and show what it means to hold a diploma from Seton Hall by exemplifying the values of servant leadership that Mother Seton has instilled in us."
She continued, "Save lives in hospitals, educate the next generation, touch hearts by creating art, influence policy, fight for peace at the United Nations or for justice in the courtroom or for truth in the media. And if you choose to define success by financial stability, that's perfectly well and good. I wish you immense success, so much that one day, you will be able to share those blessings with our University."
Edney J. Uy presented the Salutatory Address at the Academic Awards Ceremony. Born in the Philippines and immigrating to the United States at the age of 6, Uy graduated from the College of Nursing, Summa Cum Laude. He is the first in his family to attend college. Inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International nursing honor society, he volunteered as a nursing tutor at the Academic Resource Center and was active in the Filipino League at Seton Hall. He is dedicated to working in hospital settings and continuing his education to enhance his career in the nursing profession.
Ethan C. Kraft, was selected as alternate speaker for Commencement. Originally from Woodstock Georgia and now Emmaus, Pennsylvania, Kraft graduated from the College of Communication and the Arts, Summa Cum Laude. He graduated as a broadcasting and sociology dual major, minoring in Russian language and culture. He was involved in Alpha Phi Omega, Amnesty International and Blue Crew, while also interning at NBC for such shows as "Late Night with Seth Myers," the "Tonight Show" and "Saturday Night Live." He will be working as a desk producer at CNBC's Breaking News Desk.
Vocalists were Sister Mathilde (Katherine) DeLucy ( Summa Cum Laude) and Devin A. McGuire ( Magna Cum Laude), both from the College of Education and Human Services.
Sister Mathilde is a Sister of Christian Charity, who graduated with degrees in music education and Catholic Studies. She plans to continue to do God's will in her life by helping many students to experience His love and the joy that Music can be to the soul.
Devin A. McGuire has found success as a vocalist, conductor, teacher and multi-instrumentalist. He served as bass section leader for the University and Chamber Choirs. A music education major, he has a passion for expanding musical opportunities to special-needs learners and advocating for the arts in public schools. He will make his European debut this summer at the Narnia Festival in Italy.