From 1970 to 1998, nearly 2000 students graduated from the Evening Division Program and, with the recent dedication of a commemorative plaque at Alumni Day, the College has honored their achievements as students and alumni.
In his remarks, President John Denning, C.S.C., who blessed the plaque, said “It is our hope that this plaque will serve as a reminder to all in the Stonehill community that we are a place of learning and we look to instill in our students the traits that our Evening Division students like you have exemplified in your pursuit of learning."
Many Evening Division alumni attended the unveiling and blessing of the plaque, which will be on display in the lobby of Alumni Hall. Among them was Susan Jezierny ’87, one of the drivers behind the plaque, who spoke at the event, sharing her memories of being an Evening Division student and explaining how the program opened so many doors for her and gave her opportunities she never would have had without it. Today, Jezierny serves as the Director of Human Resources at Dynisco, a global leader in plastics extrusion process technology.
To obtain their degrees, Jezierny noted, she and her peers had to invest a great deal of time, effort and energy to focus on their studies.
“Being a fulltime Continuing Education Division student meant taking two courses a semester. With a fulltime job and a family, that was tough. We had to study on lunch hours, on weekends, and instead of planning holidays,” she recalled.
“We Evening Division students brought with us to Stonehill a keen understanding of what our professors referred to as ‘real life’. We already knew that you made money the old-fashioned way – you earned it. Our employers had taught us that lesson. We already knew about commitment and that commitment meant hard work. Our families had taught us that lesson. We knew, too, that going to college meant making sacrifices which would affect our families as well as affecting us,” she explained.
Looking back, Jezierny recalls the Evening Division staff members always being there to help with problems and to provide a supportive, family-like sense of community. She believes that while their professors, who knew they were there to learn, taught them business, science, literature, history and so much more, they also learned from their classmates including such lessons as “how to juggle family, career and education. And, we taught ourselves that we could reach deep within and accomplish anything that we wanted to accomplish.”
“Evening Division alumni are great representatives of the College and of its educational mission. Valued members of the Alumni Association, they have worked long and hard to secure this recognition for the Evening Division, much as they did to earn their degrees. My office very much appreciates their involvement and dedication to the College,” said Anne Sant ’88, director of alumni affairs.