This year’s commencement speakers are graduates Jacob Liechty of Salisbury at the 10 a.m. ceremony, and Noelle Ford of Towson, MD, at 2:30 p.m.
Joining the graduates at the morning ceremony are the 2013 President’s Distinguished Community Leadership Award recipients. Community booster Marty Neat receives this year’s individual award, while Lower Shore Enterprises, Inc., is recognized with the organizational honor.
Liechty came to SU after graduating from Salisbury Christian School in 2009. A member of the University’s Bellavance Honors Program, the biology major found its offerings challenging, yet interesting: “I’ve gotten a little taste of everything.”
In the end, however, it was his family that had the most profound influence on his career decisions. Growing up with nurses in the family, he was exposed to the medical field early and developed a passion for people, giving him a desire to pursue medicine. This summer, he interns at Johns Hopkins Hospital for 10 weeks before starting a master’s program at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA, in hopes of becoming a physician.
He offered this advice for his fellow graduates: “Try to keep your head up whether or not you know what you are doing after graduation. It’s too easy to be negative.”
Some 786 students graduate from the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology and Samuel W. and Marilyn C. Seidel School of Education and Professional Studies that morning.
In the afternoon, 852 students from the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts and Franklin P. Perdue School of Business hear from Ford.
Also a Bellavance Honors Program student, Ford saw parallels between her early days in kindergarten and her time as a college senior. During both, family and educators pressed to know what she wanted to be when she grew up. The answers changed significantly over the years.
At age 5, Ford wanted to become a mermaid. Now in her early 20s, she plans to help others through the Teach For America Corps., where she will work for two years at an impoverished school in South Carolina.
At SU, faculty inspired the English major to pursue a dual major in Spanish, a skill she plans to put to use working with migrant communities once her Teach For America appointment ends. Her advice to the Class of 2013: “Enjoy life and be brave.”
Some 1,430 undergraduate students receive the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. Some 208 receive master’s degrees.
Admission to Commencement is by ticket only. A reception at the Civic Center follows each ceremony. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.