SNHU Celebrates 78th Commencement - 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010
SNHU Communications Office

Manchester, N.H. (May 15, 2010) – Southern New Hampshire University celebrated its 78th commencement Saturday, May 15, at the Verizon Wireless Arena.

In 2009-2010, 1,469 undergraduate students earned their degrees and 941 were expected to attend Saturday’s ceremony; 1,146 graduate students earned their degrees and 567 were expected to attend.

“We have students who have overcome challenges of disease, poverty, and the full range of hurdles that life can put before any of us. Some of you will be the very first in your families to earn a college degree, as I was in mine, and some of you are reaching the highest level of education possible and will today be hooded as doctoral graduates,” President Paul J. LeBlanc told graduates. “You are amazing and we are proud and there is no group of graduates I would rather be with today than you.”

Student speaker Doreen Boutin, who earned a B.A. in psychology through SNHU Online, talked about overcoming challenges and the support she received at SNHU. She told the crowd that she suffers from lupus and 20 years ago was in a coma and on life support. Her doctor advised her mother to “pull the plug” because she likely would be paralyzed or brain dead. Her mother refused.

U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia James Smith, who received a Doctor of Humane Letters, spoke of the future today’s graduates face, global leadership and his life experiences in the military and throughout his career. He urged graduates to learn about the world firsthand, to get involved in something “greater than your own self interest,” and to “find what gives you peace and protect it at all costs.” He also reminded them that “life will not turn out the way you planned.”

“The challenge for your generation will be to seek out opportunities for dialogue, to find ways of tearing down walls instead of building them up. This is your most important challenge as a global citizen,” he said. “You are global citizens to whom the world will look or answers. I pray for your success.”

Lewis M. Feldstein, president of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, also received a Doctor of Humane Letters, in absentia.

The university also presented its annual Excellence in Teaching Awards. The recipients were full-time sport management Professor Doug Blais and adjunct instructors Bryan Bouchard (finance) and John Blois (English).

Photos are available for download online.

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