Lynn University’s 48th commencement ceremonies on May 10 and May 11 came at the end of a marquee year for Lynn that saw the hosting of the final 2012 presidential debate, celebration of the school's 50th anniversary and two major groundbreakings, one for its new International Business Center and the other for the new Bobby Campbell Stadium.

At the Saturday morning ceremony, Lynn President Kevin M. Ross also mentioned that Lynn’s innovative core curriculum, the Dialogues of Learning, was recently featured in the new book “College (Un)Bound: The Future of Higher Education and What It Means for Students” by Jeffrey Selingo, editor at large at The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“Lynn is one of only 18 universities highlighted as a forward thinking university to keep an eye on,” Ross said. “We know the value that your Lynn degree holds moving forward, and now even more people do.”

An empowering message
Sam Vaghar, the 26-year-old executive director of the Millennium Campus Network (MCN), is the youngest commencement speaker to address the crowds at Lynn’s commencement ceremonies.
Vaghar told the story of the founding of MCN from its early days in college dorm rooms to meetings at the United Nations and, recently, meetings at the White House with President Obama. The book, “The End of Poverty” by economist Jeffrey Sachs, taught him that there are more than one billion people on the planet struggling to survive, but that there are real, actionable solutions to solving the problems of endemic, global poverty.

Vaghar decided he wanted to find a way to help Sachs, so he, a 19-year-old college student, decided to cold call Sachs’ office. This brave phone call illustrates one of his main pieces of advice for graduates: “Never be afraid to talk to anyone.”

More commencement highlights
• George Elmore received an honorary degree during Saturday’s undergraduate ceremony.
• Katie Lemmon, member of the Knights of the Roundtable, presented the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award to Stephen Aiello, an associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences.
• On the same night that Lynn’s youngest commencement speaker ever was addressing the crowd, Lynn’s oldest graduate ever (once Lynn’s oldest freshman), 87-year-old Jack Slotnick, received his master’s degree in psychology.
• The intergenerational nature of the event was further reflected when Joanne Studer, the executive assistant to Lynn President Kevin M. Ross, received her B.S. in psychology at the evening undergraduate/graduate ceremony on Friday, May 10, and her daughter Meghan Studer, her B.A. in the American Studies program at the day undergraduate ceremony on Saturday, May 11.

Read more about Lynn's 2013 commencement ceremonies.