Grace, courage and strength:

Student speaker identifies qualities that bring our community together

While COVID has extracted a heavy toll on graduates, Mount Mary has “entered into a season of extended grace,” student speaker Trisha Xiong said during Saturday’s commencement address.

2022_maycommencement_callout2.jpg“I’ve seen students collaborate with each other to lend a hand to those in need; I’ve seen faculty go above and beyond to check on students, and staff who have worked diligently to their best ability,” she said.

“What I know most about our campus is how we are a light to each other. Through tough situations, we persevered through.”

Xiong, a biology-health sciences major who plans to attend medical school, was among the 270 students graduating from Mount Mary University on Saturday, May 21. Read more about Xiong here.

The University awarded eight doctorate degrees, 115 graduate degrees and 90 undergraduate degrees, along with six post-bachelor certificates and one post-master’s certificate.

“We have first generation students, students of immigrant parents, single mothers, athletes, commuters, and innovative graduate students, all who have walked through the tunnels side by side,” she said at the event, held in the Bloechl Center. “We have in common the passion to pursue our education by working hard.

“As we transition out of college and into a new season, I hope that this grace you’ve experienced will be brought into all areas of your life. And I implore you to truly take up space and use your voice.

“This degree is more than just a paper,” Xiong said. It is a symbol of what you’ve overcome to be the person you are right now.

To view photos from Saturday's Commencement or Friday evening's Lantern of Learning event, visit Mount Mary on facebook or instagram.

A recording of the commencement ceremony is also available.

For a tribute to the Class of 2022 and to view highlights of the 2021-22 school year, click here.