65th Academic Convocation Marks Beginning of Academic Year

The College's 65th academic convocation began with a standing-room only mass led by Reverend Raymond F. Dlugos, O.S.A., Ph.D.  The mass was intended to bring together the Merrimack community at the beginning of this new academic year. 

Many students and staff members showed their Merrimack pride by displaying the school colors of blue and gold. Mass gave students the chance to reflect on the upcoming year through prayer and music provided by the choir and instrumentalists.

Immediately following mass, faculty lined up in the Sakowich Campus Center to honor outgoing seniors and welcome incoming freshmen. Professors were dressed for the occasion in academic regalia and seniors donned their robes. President Hopey addressed students and emphasized Merrimack’s close-knit community by promising that: “My door is always open.” 

The featured speaker, Julian Agyeman Ph.D., FRSA. is a respected environmentalist in his field and devised the now-popular term “just sustainability.” Dr. Agyemen is currently a professor and chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University. He is the co-founder and co-editor of the international journal Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability. He also has over 150 publications in print including several books.

Dr. Agyeman begin his speech by declaring that Merrimack’s mission to “enlighten minds, engage hearts, and empower lives” aligns perfectly with his own idea of just sustainability. He went on to note that we, as a human family, must “meet the needs of present and future generations.” He went on the urge the audience to do this by “using our unlimited mental resources instead of our limited environmental resources.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Josephine S. Modica-Napolitano, Ph.D.  then presented the class of 2016 to the rest of the Merrimack community.  Dr. Modica-Napolitano encouraged the first-year students to “stay engaged in this community of scholars, teachers and learners and make the commitment to serve it well.” She also advised the outgoing seniors to stay immersed in the Merrimack community during their last year at the college. Reverend Raymond then said benediction for the students that were present.

A senior, Tyler Shafer, was then called forward and put a graduation robe on a first-year student, which symbolizes the journey that the incoming class is embarking upon.

The convocation ceremony closed with the Merrimack College Anthem, which was led by Mackapella, the College’s a capella group.

This year’s convocation is sure to precede a successful academic year for students, faculty, staff and the Merrimack community as a whole!


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