Photos courtesy of Gary Higgins and The Patriot Ledger
By Brian Benson
The Patriot Ledger
Posted May 15, 2010 @ 08:30 PM
Hundreds of family and friends packed the campus lawn at Eastern Nazarene College Saturday for the Christian liberal arts college’s 88th spring commencement.
Approximately 240 graduates received associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
“I’m excited but scared and nervous about going out into the real world,” said Rachel Sorensen, 24, of Quincy, who received a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. “I have a sister with down syndrome which has been a big motivating factor for me [choosing education].”
Other graduates such as 33-year-old Ryan Daniels had international ambitions. Daniels, who earned a master’s in education, spent several years in China teaching English and history to Chinese students, which inspired him to pursue education at Eastern Nazarene.
"It’s a nice feeling to be free of exams and papers and whatnot,” said Daniels, a Hingham High School alumnus who received an undergraduate degree in history from Eastern Nazarene in 2000.
Daniels said he is considering teaching internationally again.
Several graduates emphasized the religious aspects of Eastern Nazarene as contributing greatly to their college experience.
“I’ve grown not only in academics but personally and spiritually at ENC,” said Jennifer Colson, 22, of Quincy, who received a bachelor of arts degree. “It’s probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
College president Corlis McGee introduced the commencement speaker, Tom Nees, highlighting his leadership in religious and non-profit organizations including founding a faith-based neighborhood agency to provide housing, health care, job training, and other services to Washington, D.C., residents.
Nees emphasized that graduates can be leaders immediately upon earning their degree. He highlighted the role Eastern Nazarene alumni can play in resolving poverty, public health, and environmental issues such as the Haiti earthquake, Gulf of Mexico oil spill, and poverty in Washington, D.C., neighborhoods.
“When you step off this platform the responsibility for leadership will be yours. ... Take charge and lead the way,” he told graduates. “The world needs you.”
Brian Benson may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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