Over the weekend of May 12-13, 2018, about 6,000 SNHU graduates - along with over 22,000 of their supporters – arrived at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, for Southern New Hampshire University’s 86th Commencement Weekend.
The 2018 commencement speakers were Dan Shaughnessy, Boston Globe sports columnist; Azmat Khan, award-winning investigative journalist, New York Times Magazine contributing writer and Future of War fellow at New America; Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles; and Dr. Vincent W. Patton III, master chief petty officer (retired) of the Coast Guard.
Graduates of the Class of 2018 who achieved academic excellence throughout their liberal arts, social sciences or education degree programs at Southern New Hampshire University were invited to attend the 2018 Academic Award Ceremony.
Graduates of the Class of 2018 who achieved academic excellence throughout their business, nursing, health professions or STEM degree programs at Southern New Hampshire University were invited to attend the 2018 Academic Award Ceremony.
"Every single day is an opportunity to follow up on the extraordinary education you've received," said Azmat Khan, award-winning investigative journalist. "No matter what path you take, be informed, be empathetic, and if you must, be a little delusionally self-confident. It can't hurt too much."
When Elle Tibbitts began her freshman year at SNHU, she chose to be brave. And for the 2018 commencement student speaker, it paid off. "I saw SNHU for what it is: a fresh start. An opportunity where we decided our fate in who we wanted to be," said the BS Economics & Finance and BA in Math grad.
"You've traveled long and often-challenging roads to achieve this level of success and which you have rightfully earned," said Dr. Vincent W. Patton III, master chief petty officer (retired) of the Coast Guard. "Always keep in mind that as a graduate, the learning experience never ends."
"To get here today, each one of you had to navigate borders," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Borders of geography, of opportunity; borders of identity, and of your own doubt. ... But you overcame them, and today you will leave this building as graduates."
Sierra Ingram traveled from San Diego to New Hampshire, where - as she spoke in her speech as the 2018 SNHU commencement student speaker - she saw a sea of alumni who experienced similar journeys of hard work and balancing acts.
"Whether you're 21 and following the traditional path or 45 and already supporting a family, there's one universal truth in following your dreams and overcoming setbacks," said sports columnist Dan Shaughnessy. "It's a waste of time to get jealous or compare your success to others."
April Cutler recognized the significance of graduating on Mother's Day. She knows the importance of being a role model for her children and what finishing her degree taught them. "They've witnessed firsthand my dedication and determination, but never once witnessed me surrender to defeat," she said.
Moira Collins knows she didn’t take the traditional route to college after high school. The 2018 SNHU graduate and commencement ceremony speaker connected with her fellow alumni about the “scenic route” they took to get to this moment.