EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ -- Seton Hall University graduates listened as keynote speaker Mary Tedeschi Eberstadt discussed a “moral movement” the 1,248 new alumni will soon be a part of as they end their college careers.
The 157th baccalaureate commencement ceremony was held May 19 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford.
Eberstadt, American author and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington, D.C., emphasized to the graduates, “You are more important than you know.” Eberstadt encouraged the graduates, now armed with the knowledge of “ethical truths” from Seton Hall, to be part of a moral movement in their communities and beyond.
“The most underestimated force on the planet may be the power of example, including your example,” she said.
Eberstadt, as well as the Archbishop of Krakow, His Eminence Stanislaw Cardinal Dziwisz, were presented with honorary doctorates of humane letters by the University. Dziwisz served with Pope John Paul II for 40 years.
“I am sure that John Paul II would endorse the vision of the University as ‘a home for the mind, the heart, and the spirit,’” Dziwisz said. “This intellectual and spiritual formation – the formation of mind, heart and spirit of students, should help them to be good neighbors, good citizens and to love and serve others.”
Former Student Government President Joe Donato also addressed the graduates. “We are entering a world that demands student leaders,” he said.
“If not us, who? If not now, when?” Donato asked. He added that the class of 2014, after four years at Seton Hall, is “prepared to go into a world in need of a new, innovative and eager generation.”
University President A. Gabriel Esteban also spoke at the ceremony and reiterated the ideas of using knowledge gained at Seton Hall and giving back to the community.
Brother Leonard Joseph Carlino gave the valedictory address, reminding students of the “other players” in their college education. “I think of Father John in front of Duffy Hall, waving to everyone walking by,” he said. “We can now become the mentors.”