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Curry College Celebrates 2012 Commencement

Laura Sen, President and Chief Executive Officer of BJ's Wholesale Club, provided the commencement address at the ceremony on Sunday, May 20.

 celebrated Commencement on Sunday in Milton, Massachusetts, at the D. Forbes Will Athletic Complex.

Laura Sen, President and Chief Executive Officer of BJ's Wholesale Club, Inc., served as Commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree. She encouraged the Class of 2012 to pursue their future careers with confidence, to tackle adversity with perseverance and to "make life happen" for themselves.

"The transformation and translation of information to knowledge and action: it's what your degree is all about. Your life and your happiness will be the direct outcome of your actions, your choices. Your future, your life and your happiness come as a result of whose company you choose to keep, where you choose to live, and what you choose to do," said Sen, who compared the roadway speed-bumps on the campus at Curry College to the obstacles that are bound to arise during life's long yet rewarding journey.

"Don't let life happen to you. Make life happen for you," she said, provoking a roar from the soon-to-be graduates.

James T. Brett, President and Chief Executive Officer, The New England Council, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws. From the podium, President Kenneth K. Quigley, Jr. applauded Brett for his commitment, leadership and contributions to the economy, and thanked him for acting as a tireless advocate for the physically and mentally challenged at both the regional and national level.

"Your ability to bring together people from all walks of life and philosophies is one of your most remarkable and outstanding traits, commented upon and valued from Boston to Washington," said Quigley to Brett, who served for fifteen years as a Member in the House of Representatives. "James T. Brett, you have been formally honored on many, many occasions by labor, human service, business, and law enforcement organizations for outstanding public service, and you honor us, as a most worthy recipient of the honor we bestow upon you today," said Quigley.

Douglas A. Weddleton, Sergeant, Massachusetts State Police, was awarded an honorary Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degree posthumously. His widow, Judith Weddleton, accepted the degree on hisbehalf and was joined on stage with her four sons, Stephen, Mark, Ross and Matthew. Sergeant Weddleton was a continuing education student at Curry College. He was struck and killed, while he was working, in an accident involving two alleged drunk drivers At the time of his death, he was just six credits away from earning his Curry College degree, having completed 114 credits of the 120 required over a nine year period. His GPA was a 3.7.

"For all that Sergeant Weddleton endeavored, for all that he represented as an adult student striving to better himself and his family, for all that he sacrificed in the line of duty - we are humbled to honor him as a member of the Class of 2012," said President Quigley, who noted that Weddleton was pursuing a degree to enhance his professional skills and also set a strong example for his four children.

Student speakers included Shana Petriello of Milford, MA representing the traditional undergraduate class; Patricia Bernadino of New Bedford representing continuing education; and Karen Schoonmaker of Arlington, MA representing graduate studies.

Petriello encouraged her classmates to carefully consider to the choices they make about their futures, and to consider that even the smallest of choices can have a large impact on the people they will become.

"We are all here today because on some level we have accepted our fears and have taken action to make a change. You may have just taken it for granted, but the smallest decisions you have made along the way-whether it was to look into the PAL program, choose to study abroad, audition forCurry theater, start a new club, try out for the baseball, soccer, basketball, hockey, lacrosse, tennis, softball, or football team, or even as simple as trying a new food at the student center-we never let fear hold us back," she said.

Candace Cobuzzi of Waltham, MA was named valedictorian and Kristen Rego of Fairhaven, MA was named salutatorian of the traditional undergraduate class.

In the Division of Continuing and Graduate Studies, Laura Williams of Plymouth, MA was named valedictorian, and Joanne Mylett ofMilton, MA was named salutatorian.

Natalie Petit of Medford, MA received the New Era Award. Each year, the New Era award is presented to a graduating senior who, by virtue of his or her academic excellence, participation in curricular and co-curricular activities, leadership, accomplishments, and the potential for future achievement is determined to have contributed most to the enrichment of the Class and the Collegeat large. In an earlier interview, Petit proudly stated that her Curry College education truly helped her to achieve her full potential.

"My experiences at Curry have really broadened my view of my career and my life," said Petit. "Now I'm thinking about becoming a detective, a community organizer, a politician or maybe starting a youth community center as an entrepreneur. With my Curry education, I feel like I'll have lots of options throughout my life."

The above release was provided by Fran Jackson, Curry College.

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