The college hosts two celebratory ceremonies for 2018 graduates

by Anne Reynolds

The college hosts two celebratory ceremonies for 2018 graduates

Over the course of two exciting ceremonies on Friday, May 18, 2018, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences celebrated its latest recipients of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. 

Following Mason’s University Commencement on Friday morning, the college’s humanities and interdisciplinary programs convened for their degree celebration in EagleBank Arena at 3:00 pm. The energy of Mason’s Green Machine greeted graduates earning degrees in art history, communication, community college education, creative writing, cultural studies, English, environmental and sustainability studies, foreign languages, global affairs, history, history of decorative arts, individualized study, integrative studies, interdisciplinary studies, Latin American studies, linguistics, Middle East and Islamic studies, philosophy, religious studies, Russian and Eurasian studies, and writing and rhetoric. The graduates were each introduced by Interim Senior Associate Dean Shannon Davis and greeted with cheers as they proceeded across the stage to receive personal congratulations from Interim Dean Robert Matz and the chairs of their academic units.

Three Graduate Students in Regalia

College alumnus Shawn Turner, MA Communication ’06, addressed the students, families, and friends with a theme of students following a roadmap through their early lives, acknowledging that “well-planned paths don’t always take us where we think we need to go. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t take us to great places where we can do great things.” He encouraged each graduate to follow his or her own path, and to “remember that there are no constraints on the human mind, no walls around the human spirit, and no barriers to your progress except for those you erect yourselves.”

Students at Degree Celebration

On Friday evening, the college’s social science programs took their turn to celebrate their graduates, also accompanied by the music of the Green Machine and cheered by family and friends. This ceremony honored the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree recipients in the fields of anthropology, criminology, law and society, economics, psychology, and sociology, along with the human development and family science graduates whose studies draw from the college and the College of Education and Human Development. Interim Dean Matz and Interim Senior Associate Dean Davis addressed the graduates and recognized each individually as they crossed the EagleBank Arena stage.

Students Returning

The celebratory speaker, alumna Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, BS Administration of Justice ’05, MA Justice, Law, and Crime Policy ’10, PhD Criminology, Law and Society ’12, offered three pieces of advice to the assembly: always have grit, express gratitude to the people who believe in you, and constantly pursue justice. “I challenge you not to be neutral in situations of injustice,” she stressed. “Use your education from this top-ranked university to take action, to empower marginalized people, to foster equality, and become a leader in changing the status quo.” 

 Degree Celebration Graduate

The degree celebration ceremonies are planned and organized by the college’s dean’s office staff, in a flurry of coordination and teamwork driven by the goal of offering students a happy culmination of their years at Mason and an event in which families, friends, and faculty can share.

Green Machine

“It’s all about the students,” said Dean Matz. “We so appreciate the involvement of our faculty marshals and our alumni speakers, but at the end of the day, we want to savor this happy moment with our students and their families. Who could ask for more than that?”