Over 175 Degrees Awarded at Newbury’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony

May 16, 2017 – On Sunday May 14, Newbury held its 54th Annual Commencement Exercises at John Hancock Hall in Boston. The Ceremony awarded more than 175 Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees to the class of 2017.

After the processional, Vice President and Chief of Staff, Paul Martin, called the ceremony to order. He introduced Oneida Morgan ’17 to sing the National Anthem. Sister Brenda Forry led the Invocation.

Newbury President, Joseph L. Chillo, took the podium to address the Class of 2017. He welcomed all guests and wished a Happy Mother’s Day to the mothers in the audience. President Chillo spoke about the importance of a college degree—that the graduates of the day are joining an elite group of people and opening many opportunities for their futures.

He said, “I have no greater honor as President than to acknowledge the success of our students. I am proud of each you for earning this special distinction of being a college graduate. I know many of you and your families personally and I want to take a moment and acknowledge your hard work, dedication, sacrifice and tell you personally how proud I am today of each you.”

President Chillo concluded his speech by inspiring the graduates to do good in the world: “As you look back in life, I want you to remember this moment as that defining time in your life when you made a commitment to making a difference.”

The student address was presented by Katelynne Bazile ’17: “I look out to you all today and I see so much potential. I say this with confidence because I know what it means to be a Nighthawk.”

President Chillo returned to the podium to present Bazile with the President’s Award – the highest honor which can be bestowed upon a Newbury College student, and one that is given annually to a student who best represents the Newbury College ideal of academic excellence, enthusiasm for life-long learning, and a personal and professional commitment to the betterment of society.

President Chillo and Newbury College Board of Trustees Chair, Margaret M. Winslow, then presented an Honorary Doctor of Human Letters upon Daniel S. Lebowitz, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University. “You learned to live a life of compassion, empathy and a sense of dignity for all,” said Chillo, “Your personal history cemented your belief in sport as the embodiment of inclusion and as a common ground foundation for the positive development of social change.”

Daniel S. Lebowitz gave the 2017 Commencement Address. “We should not complain about problems,” he told the graduates, “We should be brave enough to get next to them, figure out how to solve them, and love our neighbor in doing so.” He concluded his speech with “The promise is ahead of you…do the thing. Get it done. So proud of you.”

The members of the Class of 2017 were then presented with their degrees by Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Frank Sargent, announcing their names and President Chillo presenting the graduates with their diplomas. Cheers echoed in the auditorium as each graduate crossed the stage to officially become an alumnus or alumna of Newbury College.

Former Board of Trustee Member, Laurie J. Watson ’08 was presented with the Alumni Achievement Award by President Chillo: “Your keen insight and willingness to serve has enriched the College Community and the work that we all do to be servant-leaders of our mission. You have been a champion of this institution, encouraging others to support the College, while also bringing countless opportunities to our students and alumni.”

Watson then welcomed the new alumni: “If you are anything like me, Newbury will always be home…Remember how Newbury has supported you and how you can support Newbury as alumni.”

Congratulations to all graduates; Newbury wishes you the best in all your future endeavors.


About Newbury: Newbury College is a private, independent college located just minutes from Boston in the Fisher Hill neighborhood of Brookline, Massachusetts. Founded in 1962, Newbury College offers bachelor and associate degree programs in over 20 career-focused majors. Committed to personalized and experience-based teaching, Newbury inspires students to become independent thinkers, valuable collaborators, and global-minded citizens.

Contact: Sarah Johansson, Communications Coordinator

On Sunday May 14, Newbury held its 54th Annual Commencement Exercises at John Hancock Hall in Boston.