Graduates implored to be open to life-changing opportunities

May 20, 2017

Quinnipiac University undergraduate commencement exercises for the School of Health Sciences Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the TD Bank Sports Center on Quinnipiac's York Hill Campus

Mary Leighton, founder and executive director of the No Limits Foundation, urged the Class of 2017 to use their talents to make the world a better place when she spoke on Saturday at Commencement exercises for the School of Health Sciences at the TD Bank Sports Center.

“Your path may lead you in various directions,” she told members of the Class of 2017. “But what you want to leave the world with is how you can make the world a better place. There are so many opportunities. You need to be ready and open to them.”

Her career as an occupational therapist taught her that helping people learn to do simple life tasks, such as buttoning a shirt or washing their own face, can be the catalyst needed for them to find the courage to continue on.

"I didn’t do things in the typical order," she said. "Your life choices might take you down a different path, if you follow your heart. That’s OK. Every path you take can teach you something."

Her experiences with her patients gave her new perspective. She urged the graduates to allow the patients they encounter to change them.

"I realized going through life you’re not alone, and it’s about community," she said. "Changing the lives of others is the most important thing."

Leighton was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters for her groundbreaking work helping young people with upper extremity limb loss and amputations. Since 2004, Camp No Limits has operated camps across the country in Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Texas and our own York Hill Campus.

Kyle Liang '17 told his fellow graduates that they are the evidence of their ancestors' success.

"Each generation has the chance to thrive thanks to the sacrifices placed before them," he said. "We are the seeds sowed from their sacrifices. We are building on the legacies of the relentless and the hard-working while we form legacies of our own."

He told his peers that their college degrees give them added responsibility, to improve society.

"We are members of the 6% of the world’s college educated. Prepare yourselves for the opportunities coming, and trust that what got you here is what will carry you to bigger and better places. Before we walk out of this building, let’s remember, that we were students at one of the greatest universities of the world and although many of us will not be Quinnipiac students starting tomorrow, that doesn’t change the fact that all of us will always be Bobcats." 

In total, 430 students were awarded cachelor of science degrees from the School of Health Sciences.

Last weekend, 325 students from the School of Health Sciences earned Master of Health Science degrees, Master of Occupational Therapy degrees, Master of Social Work degrees, Occupational Therapy doctorates and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees.

Quinnipiac University will confer 1,709 bachelor’s degrees this weekend across six schools and colleges — Arts and Sciences, Business, Communications, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Nursing.

Quinnipiac is a dynamic, three-campus university where professors who want to know students by name come to teach, and where students who want a personal, challenging education come to learn.

Located in Southern New England, Quinnipiac’s top-rated academics, low faculty-to-student ratio and Division I athletics are just some of the reasons why it is consistently ranked among the best universities by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. It is one of 100 universities to have both a law school and a medical school with the opening of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine in 2013, and its Polling Institute is respected by media organizations around the globe.

Faculty members are experts in their fields and generous with their time. The university prepares undergraduate and graduate students for success in business, communications, engineering, health, education, law, medicine, nursing and the liberal arts and sciences. More than 100 programs are offered to 6,784 undergraduate and 2,884 graduate students.

Throughout its rich history, Quinnipiac has remained true to its three core values: high-quality academic programs, a student-oriented environment and a strong sense of community.

The university is hosting 10 Commencement ceremonies, including our inaugural ceremony for the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine and the first ceremony for the newly formed School of Engineering.

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