On Sunday, May 23, 2010, Sister Marcella Marie Garus, CSSF, president of Villa Maria College in Buffalo, NY, presented diplomas to the graduating class of 2010 at the College’s 46th Commencement Ceremony. Baccalaureate and associate degrees were conferred upon those who successfully completed their academic requirements across a broad range of programs. Ceremonies were held in the student auditorium located on the College’s campus and were preceded by a liturgy concelebrated by Reverend Fabian Maryanski, Pastor of Saint Andrew Parish in Sloan, NY, and the Reverend Mark Wolski. Graduates, parents, faculty, staff and friends were then invited to attend a brunch on campus.
Sister Mary Christopher Moore, CSSF, Provincial Minister of the Felician Sisters of our Lady of Hope Province and leader of the 850-member Felician Sisters of North America delivered the commencement address. “Today is a defining moment in each of your lives. There will never be another you. There will never be another time,” said Sr. Moore. These sentiments were the foundation of her speech, which served as a call-to-action for all graduates. Sr. Moore stressed the value of a college education, imparting that less than 40% of all adults hold college degrees. She went on to offer students her personal wisdom for their future professional and personal endeavors, telling them to make the most of time, take on a leadership roles in life and include time to explore, dream and discover as they continue on with their future.
Senator William T. Stachowski, (D-NY), was present to accept the College’s Founder’s Medal. The medal is awarded annually to an outstanding person or group in Western New York in recognition of significant contributions to the community and to Villa Maria College. Senator Stachowski is presently serving as the representative of the 58th District in the New York State Senate.
Villa Maria College bestowed the Distinguished Alumni Award on Linda G. Sroka, an alumna of Villa Maria College and the current Development Manager of Shea’s Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY. The award is presented each year to one of the College’s alumni who have fulfilled a mission in life that exemplifies the principles on which the College was founded and who has distinguished himself/herself in career and community. The Blessed Mary Angela Mission Awardwas presented to Leanna M. Manna, an associate professor at Villa Maria College. This award acknowledges a member of the College community who exemplifies the Franciscan Values that Blessed Angela (foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Felix of Cantalice) aspired to live by.
Alexandra Marie Elizabeth Gugino, a graduate of the College’s photography program delivered the student address to her fellow graduates. She was then honored with the College’s Leadership Award. Other student award recipients included Kristen Elaine Melohusky who received the Service Award and graduate Brianca Marie Miller who was presented with the Martin Wanamaker Spirit Award.