President's Perspectives: President Mooney welcomes the class of 2016!
Welcome to Saint Mary's College! Forty-four years ago, my family and I sat in the same seats you are in today and listened to Father McGrath, the president of the College, welcome us. And to tell you the truth I don’t remember a word he said. But I do remember that in spite of my nerves, I knew I had made the right choice, I knew my decision to attend Saint Mary’s College would change my life.
Was my college experience here perfect? Of course not - I knew no one at Saint Mary’s, I came from a small town in upstate New York, and for the first few months I felt that I just didn’t fit in. But, my classes were really interesting, my professors challenged me in ways I had not been challenged before, I made great new friends, and my homesickness soon faded as I found my niche at Saint Mary’s. Before I knew it, I was immersed in my new life at Saint Mary’s.
I spent my sophomore year abroad in Angers, France, one of the highlights of my four years. I encourage you to take chances, to stretch yourselves, and to try things that may seem beyond your reach. Don’t just sit back and absorb, be an active participant in your education …ask questions…probe for answers.
These four years will be filled with opportunities. This will be the best time in your life to read the great books and ask the big questions. You will never again have the same amount of time to do this with the same amount of concentration. As your parents know too well, life just gets in your way.
I was an English literature major. I developed a passion for reading that continues to this day. I also stretched a bit and took art classes that opened my eyes and taught me to see the world differently. I developed my adult faith life here. An education is much more than your major or career preparation, your education is preparation for a lifetime of learning and growing.
I encourage you to participate in student activities – run for office, participate in one of the many boards. Take part in sports at either the varsity or intramural level. Try out for a play or musical. Work with campus ministry.
Find your passion. Take advantage of the next four years – don’t waste a minute.
I want to assure all of you, that there is no one way to be a Saint Mary’s woman. No single look, no specific life style or music or style of dress, and no prescribed intellectual path. What we expect of you here, is that above all you accord everyone in the Saint Mary's family the respect due to each of God’s children. What we hope of you here, is that you take full advantage of learning from each other as well as from your excellent faculty.
To the parents and guardians in the audience, in four years the young woman with you will have matured far beyond your current imagining. You are making a major investment in her future and I promise you a good return on that investment. The education she receives here will prepare her for a career - but much more importantly, it will prepare her for life.
As a Holy Cross College, we continue the educational philosophy of our founder, Blessed Basil Anthony Moreau. One of his most famous quotations is, “The mind will not be educated at the expense of the heart”. At Saint Mary’s we are committed to the moral and spiritual formation and the intellectual growth of our students. Your daughter will graduate from Saint Mary’s able to think critically, express herself articulately, and write clearly. In just four short years she will become a Saint Mary’s alumna joining over 18,000 other women who are now standing behind her and offering their support, both financial and otherwise. Without the support of these women who came before you many of the scholarships you received would not exist. Buildings like Spes Unica where you will take many classes would not have been built. I could go on and on, but I hope that you will remember those proud alumnae and one day offer your support to another young woman, just like you, who will be sitting in these seats with her parents.
So families – relax – you have made a wonderful decision. Embrace this special time in your daughter’s life. I look forward to getting to know you and sharing this wonderful College with you. Welcome to Saint Mary’s.