Gratitude. It is this concept that Dean Virginia Roach used to begin her remarks to the GSE graduates and guests (watch the video) gathered in Fordham’s Rose Hill Gymnasium to receive their diplomas. As she stood before this year’s graduates, Dean Roach asked them to thank all of those who supported them in completing their degrees. In anticipation of Memorial Day, Roach also made a special point of asking attendees to thank the veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were among the graduates and guests.
The Dean emphasized the current challenges facing young students, including the specter of school shootings, rising nationalism, growing isolationism, and the curtailment of human rights. Just as vigorously, she recognized the power and positive strength going into the world through GSE graduates who are now mental health and counseling, teaching, and educational leadership professionals ready to share “the values of faith in the fundamental good of humanity, the willingness to truly listen and learn from those whose backgrounds are different from your own, and your devotion to accompanying others . . . on their journey[s]to defining their own character[s]”.
Roach added that because GSE graduates have chosen professions which champion serving others most of all, there is a special hope among the school’s administrators and professors that they will be leaders “working at the frontiers of [their]chosen fields, taking on problems and challenges, problems that others ignore, always peering into the future to be the first to anticipate how to meet the needs of those [they]serve.
She concluded by telling the graduates, “As St. Ignatius our founder said five centuries ago, “Go forth and set the world on fire!”