At Stonehill College’s 73rd Commencement, 583 undergraduate and 42 graduate students received their diplomas on Sunday, May 19. Vice President for Academic Affairs Peter Ubertaccio served as master of ceremonies.

In keeping with the theme of Stonehill’s milestone anniversary celebration—75 years leading with heart—speakers advised graduates to consider their impact on others and act compassionately as they pursue new opportunities. 

Celebrating Accomplishment and Transition

At the start of the ceremony, Jessica Crockett-Murphy ’24, recent recipient of the President’s Cup, offered the Invocation. She thanked God for granting graduates strength, passion and perseverance in their studies while also taking a moment to recognize those who supported the Class of 2024 on their journeys.

“Make us ever mindful of those on whose shoulders we stand as well as those who follow in our path,” she said. “As we move forward, celebrating accomplishment and transition, may we continue to make You known, loved, and served in all that we do.”

Vice President for Academic Affairs Peter Ubertaccio

Jessika Crockett-Murphy '24

Leading with Zeal and Compassion

Read by Associate Professor of Religious Studies & Theology Daniel Ullucci, the citation bestowing an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree upon Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. ’80 highlighted his historic installation as the first brother to lead the Congregation of Holy Cross as superior general. 

“You remain committed to upholding the traditions established by Blessed Basil Moreau, the Congregation’s founder,” the citation read. “You continuously approach your work with zeal and compassion.”

Read the citation.  

Being Forward-Thinking

Professor of Political Science and International Studies Anna Ohanyan presented the citation honoring Jean MacCormack, former chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and former president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree. The citation characterized MacCormack as a “global and forward-thinking” leader.

“For your contributions to civic life in Massachusetts, your service to the Diocese of Fall River, and your groundbreaking achievements in higher education, the Stonehill College community and citizens of the Commonwealth hold you in high esteem,” the citation read.

Read the citation. 

Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. ’80 (left), superior general of the Congregation of Holy Cross, and President John Denning, C.S.C. (right)

President John Denning, C.S.C. (left) and Jean MacCormack (right), former chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

Playing Fair

The citation granting an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Ed Cooley ’94, head coach of the Georgetown University men’s basketball team, was read by Associate Professor of Philosophy Constantinos Mekios. It showcased his impressive winning record, as well as his commitment to good sportsmanship. 

“As a mentor to countless student-athletes over the years, you have encouraged the young men you coach to support their teammates, play fair, and lead on and off the court,” the citation read.

Read the citation. 

Coming Home

In his address to the Class of 2024, Cooley advised graduates to give back to others and energize people with positivity. He also reminded them of the fact that they will forever be tied to Stonehill.

“Never forget where you come from,” he said. “The friendships that you made here, you can’t put a price tag on that. The experience, you can’t put a price tag on that. That person next to you is going to be with you forever. We are connected at the hip as a Stonehill family, as a Stonehill community. Make sure you understand that every time you walk back on this campus, this is home.”

Read his remarks. 

President Denning, C.S.C. (left) with Ed Cooley '94 (right), head coach of the Georgetown University men's basketball team

Promoting Positive Change

Agustin “Gus” Morales III, M.Ed. ’24, served as this year’s graduate student speaker. He encouraged the Class of 2024 to commit to doing good, being present, and making a difference. 

“Our words and actions ripple through our communities, often touching lives in ways we might not anticipate,” he said. “As a teacher, I’ve seen firsthand how words can inspire a student to change their trajectory. We must, therefore, choose our words with care and commit to actions that uphold our collective welfare.”

Read his speech. 

Cherishing Shared Experiences

Crystal Chojnowski ’24 delivered the undergraduate student address. She reminded her peers to cherish the memories they made on campus.  

“Though we say goodbye to our journey at Stonehill today, let us never forget the values instilled in us here,” she said. “Let us remember that as we are moving into the next chapter of our lives, although our time has come to an end, we will forever be connected by the shared experiences and unforgettable memories of our time here.”

Read her remarks. 

Looking to the Future

Senior Class President Andrew Parker ’24 and Vice President Monica Untiet ’24 presented the senior class gift, which will support various scholarships, the Bridge Fund, the Student Opportunity Fund and the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Social Justice. 

“The donations made to these initiatives will help make our campus better for the next generation of Stonehill students while honoring the legacy of the Class of 2024,” Untiet said.

Senior Class President Andrew Parker ’24 (right) and Vice President Monica Untiet ’24 (left)

Graduate student speaker Agustin "Gus" Morales III, M.Ed. '24

Undergraduate student speaker Crystal Chojnowski ’24 

Exploring New Possibilities

Alumni Council President Cicily Shaw ’97 welcomed the Class of 2024 to the College’s Alumni Association, which now includes over 30,000 graduates spanning seven decades of Stonehill history.

“I believe that many of these alumni will tell you that life is a journey full of unexpected paths—and often these paths create opportunity,” Shaw said. “I encourage you to embrace change as it comes your way and be open to new possibilities.”

Embodying Light and Hope

In his remarks to the Class of 2024, President John Denning, C.S.C., reflected upon the College’s 75th anniversary. He noted that this year’s degree recipients are part of Stonehill’s broader story.

“Today, you—our graduates— carry Stonehill’s values with you and I hope you will embody them in all that you do—personally and professionally,” he said.

Read his address. 

Discerning What Is Right and Good

Bringing the ceremony to a close, Br. Bednarczyk, C.S.C. ’80 offered the Benediction. He noted that Commencement offers those in attendance an opportunity to celebrate all that the graduates have accomplished through God’s grace. He also asked the Lord to watch over the Class of 2024.

“As they now step into the world that awaits them, give them wisdom to discern what is right and good, and to use their gifts generously in service to others, especially to those who are most in need,” he said. 

Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. ’80, superior general of the Congregation of Holy Cross

Alumni Council President Cicily Shaw ’97 

President John Denning, C.S.C.

Watch The Full Ceremony

Want to explore more photos from Commencement 2024?

Visit our portal, which includes images of students walking down Donahue Hill, the Commencement ceremony, the conferring of degrees, and celebrations with family and friends.