A Message from President Aceves: Commencement

Dear Colleagues,

St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, once wrote to a friend, "The Society of Jesus hopes by means of its work in education to pour into society persons capable of leaving it for good. This is an opportunity for us to pour our students into society to make it a better place and world for all.”

As we eagerly anticipate this weekend's commencement ceremonies, it is a good time to reflect on our commitment to offering an education that will transform students and help them to be, in the words of former Jesuit Superior General Adolfo Nicolas, "converted to humanity." Our graduates have reached an important milestone in their lives. As they move forward, we recognize that their education and skills can be used to serve others and make a positive impact in their communities. We understand that through volunteer work, community service, and their chosen professions, our graduates have the mind and heart to contribute to society and make a difference in the lives of others.

I am grateful to our faculty and staff, who played an essential role in inspiring the many individuals who will receive their diplomas. For our graduates, it was no small feat, but they could not do it alone. To our faculty and staff, thank you for inspiring our graduates to help build a more just and humane world. I know our graduates will go on to be relentlessly committed to social and environmental justice, seek the common good, embrace a culture of care, and find God in all things.

I share a prayer of gratitude for you, our graduates, and our inspiring faculty and staff.

God of joy and hope. We thank you for this time of graduation. Your spirit of wisdom has empowered our hard work and discipline in such a way that our hunger for learning has been nourished with knowledge, discovery, creativity, and determination. As we prepare to walk across the stage to receive our diplomas, let us walk in prayerful gratitude for the many blessings that have made this moment real and filled with great potential. In gratitude, we pray for our families and the many who have sacrificed and worked to see us to this hopeful moment. In gratitude, we pray for the professors and administrators who have challenged, cared, and crafted us along this academic journey. In gratitude, we pray for fellow students who have taught us more about friendship, collaboration, and sharing.

God, even as we have faced challenges and accomplished much, we understand that our lives move into a new chapter where there will be more challenges to face and more will be demanded of us in order to accomplish good things. May your grace cover our anxieties and fears so that we may stay encouraged about the future. Give us patience and hope to energize our search for work that is just and makes proper use of our gifts. Give us courage to face the challenges of carving out a place in society where we might live in peace, service, and gratitude. Give us strength to resist the temptations of greed, laziness, pride, and envy as we strive to do and be our best.

May your spirit guide us as we unfold the next chapters of our lives. Help us to enliven hope in the world and bring good things to Your Kingdom. And, may this celebration be a reflection of the blessings that we find in knowing and loving you. For this is the day that You have made. We are glad and rejoice in it!

- Author Unknown


Salvador D. Aceves, Ed.D