Marking the official launch of Stonehill College’s year-long 75th anniversary celebration, Academic Convocation 2023 was held Wednesday, August 30 in the Sally Blair Ames Sports Complex. Peter Ubertaccio, vice president for academic affairs, served as master of ceremonies during the program, held in recognition of faculty, seniors from the Class of 2024 and incoming first-year students from the Class of 2027.

A Community Rooted in Compassion

Hannah Pignato ’24 shared the Invocation at the start of the celebration. She prayed that God bless students, faculty and staff at Stonehill this academic year as they work to achieve their goals.

Help us to grow a community rooted in compassion for those around us as we gather in club meetings, complete our internships, conduct research projects and take on new challenges.

Read the Invocation.

Hannah Pignato ’24 

Abigail Green ’24 

Wholehearted Belief 

Abigail Green ’24 introduced Assistant Professor of Biology Tracy Rosebrock, the 2022 recipient of the Louis F. Hegarty Award for Excellence in Teaching. The student discussed the ways in which the faculty member supports and challenges her students so they may reach their highest potential. 

“You see, she so passionately, wholeheartedly believes in her students that it is contagious,” Green said. “I knew I could succeed because she believed I could. I stand where I am today because she refused to let me give up.”

Read her introduction.

The Power of Unity

In her remarks, Rosebrock explored the value of coming together to create a more just and compassionate world.

“You belong, and will forever belong, to a strong community – the Stonehill community, the power of which I hope you can appreciate now, but that I trust you will come to appreciate more and more with time,” she said.

Read her speech.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Peter Ubertaccio reads the citation awarding the 2023 Louise F. Hegarty Award for Excellence in Teaching to Professor Robert Rodgers.

Alumni Council President Cicily Shaw '97

Andrew Parker '24 presents the Class of 2024 Ames shovel to President John Denning, C.S.C.

Going Above and Beyond

Read by Vice President Ubertaccio, the citation bestowing the 2023 Hegarty Award upon Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Studies Robert Rodgers highlighted his commitment to mentoring and student success.

One message submitted in support of Rodgers’ nomination for this award read, “It is Professor Rodgers’ desire to learn and pass knowledge on to his students that makes me continue to take his classes. He encourages active participation and goes above and beyond to give a certain approach to course material that makes the new information digestible but also analytical.”

Read the citation.

A Student and a Whole Person

Alumni Council President Cicily Shaw ’97 noted how delighted she was to represent more than 30,000 Stonehill graduates, including more than 100 in attendance at Convocation. She then presented pins to the Class of 2027, which they will wear at Commencement in May 2024. She also offered pins to first-year and transfer students, taking the opportunity to share a message of support.

“Stonehill sees you both as a student and as a whole person and will provide opportunities to broaden your horizon in many ways, including academics, athletics, volunteering and community outreach,” Shaw said.

Read her speech.

An Education of the Highest Caliber

Senior Class President Andrew Parker ’24 presented this year’s class shovel, an Ames Featherweight Pony, to Rev. John Denning, C.S.C., president of Stonehill College. The student remarked that this shovel is one of the highest quality products made by the Ames Company, just as Stonehill provides an education of the highest caliber. 

“The polished blade may indicate its use as a ceremonial shovel, and we certainly have many things to celebrate at this ceremony today,” Parker said.

Read his address.

President John Denning, C.S.C.

Helping Each Other Grow and Flourish

Fr. Denning discussed the importance of lifting each other up so that the spirit of Stonehill may endure for years to come.

“As you embark on your academic pursuits this year, I hope you will continue to lead with heart each day; finding connection among your classmates and colleagues; and learning from one another’s distinct experiences,” he said.

Read his full remarks.

Saving Help

In giving the Benediction, Rev. Stephen Wilbricht, C.S.C., professor of religious studies, asked God to offer Stonehill community members wisdom, strength, love, compassion and understanding as they embark upon new journeys this academic year.

May all of our endeavors this year begin with your inspiration

and continue with your saving help.

Read the Benediction.