St. Mary’s College of Maryland graduated 442 students with the degree of Bachelor of Arts on Saturday, May 12, outdoors on the campus’ Townhouse Green. The Commencement address was delivered by Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, mayor of Baltimore. Rawlings-Blake was presented with an honorary degree from St. Mary’s.
Rawlings-Blake encouraged the Class of 2012 by saying, “There’s no reason to be overwhelmed; the future comes one day at a time.” She also noted that “Baltimore and the world need a new generation of leaders like you …” and “… your liberal arts education has prepared you for challenges of all kinds.” Rawlings-Blake closed by challenging the graduates to “think about how you can make a difference by bringing the ‘St. Mary’s Way’ with you wherever you go.”
President Joe Urgo’s charge to the Class of 2012 was two-fold: “First,” he said, “attend to essentials: don’t be distracted by unimportance, redundancy, or the chatter of the moment.” He then urged the 442 students to “remember how you got here: your passion to accomplish your goals, the impassioned assistance from those who love and support you, and the dispassionate belief in you displayed by teachers, counselors, advisers, and classmates.”
The valedictorian was Melanie Ann Kokolios, of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, who majored in English and minored in educational studies. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, is a St. Mary’s Senior Scholar, and is on the Dean’s List. Kokolios will pursue a master of arts in teaching degree from University of Southern California.
For the second year in a row, seniors chose a “quintessential student” to represent the class and also speak at graduation. This year’s selection was Hortensia Maria Montoya, of Baltimore, Maryland, who majored in English and minored in educational studies and Spanish.
Monica R. Liddi, of Silver Spring, Maryland, who majored in music and chemistry and minored in educational studies, led the singing of the school song. “St. Mary’s College of Maryland” was composed by Professor of Music David Froom, with lyrics written by Professor of English Jennifer Cognard-Black.