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10,000 Graduates


Commencement 2011

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Commencement 2011
Mary McNichol, a psychology major,
is the 10,000th student to graduate
from Neumann.
Commencement 2011
Graduates who came to the Commencement Exercises were
given t-shirts to commemorate the benchmark moment
Commencement 2011
G. Michael Green, Bill Giles and
Tracy Davidson formed a row of honor, waiting to receive their honorary degrees.

Neumann University now has 10,000 alumni. On Saturday, May 14, a soggy but joyous crowd of families and friends witnessed the milestone during
a spring shower as Mary McNichol, number 10,000, walked across the stage to receive her degree. To celebrate the moment, students unfurled a banner that read “10,000 Strong” as the psychology major from Upper Darby basked in the applause of the audience. At the end of the ceremony, every graduate at the 2011 commencement exercises received a t-shirt with the message “I
Walk with 10,000” emblazoned on the front.


The University opened in 1965 with 115 students.
Its first graduating class, in 1967, consisted of nine Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, all English majors. Enrollment now stands at 3,073, and the class of 2011 numbered 645.

Commencement 2011
Students raised a banner in honor of
the milestone.







Honorary Degrees
Honorary degrees were presented to three people, each of whom addressed the graduates: Tracy Davidson, NBC 10 news anchor and consumer reporter; Bill Giles, chairman of the Philadelphia Phillies; and G. Michael Green, Delaware County district attorney.


Green told the graduates, “There are three gifts you got today: a reputation for integrity, knowledge, and collegiality. It is important to maintain these qualities forever.”


Giles opened in his trademark, down-to-earth style. “This is really cool,” he said. “I’m the father of the Philly Phanatic, and now he’s going to have to call me ‘doctor.’” He turned serious when he offered some pragmatic advice. “What bridges the gap between capacity and capability is determination,” he said, adding a famous baseball example. “Pete Rose did not have the God-given talent of other players,” Giles explained, “but his determination drove him beyond his capacity and made him great.”


“How much of yourselves do you give? How much can you give?” Davidson asked the class of 2011. The way to measure how much a person gives, she said, is not by how much time an individual spends as a volunteer but “by the openness of your heart.”

She challenged the graduates “to see others as ourselves, as Jesus sees them.” She urged the graduates to “be conscious of barricades and look for relationships.”

Commencement 2011
Commencement 2011
Delaware County District Attorney
G. Michael Green also accepted an
honorary degree from the University.
Honorary degree recipient Bill Giles, chairman of the Philadelphia Phillies, entertained the crowd with his wit and insight.
Commencement 2011
Tracy Davidson, NBC 10 news anchor and consumer reporter,
received an honorary degree and addressed the class of 2011.


  Commencement 2011
Nicole Buoni, a double major in business administration and marketing, delivered
the valedictory address.
  Commencement 2011
Tracy Basden Hunger put herself and
her younger brother through college after their parents passed away by working numerous jobs. Here she celebrates
with her husband
  Commencement 2011
John Randall, 80, earned a master’s degree in strategic leadership to help his church.
  Commencement 2011
Sean Wallace was commissioned as a second lieutenant at Widener University just two days before graduation. Widener is the host institution for ROTC activity at seven area colleges.
Commencement 2011
Tim Perry, a former first-round pick in
the NBA draft, earned his degree in
liberal studies.
  Commencement 2011
Graduates and their families broke out umbrellas during the conferral of degrees
to ward off some raindrops, but no one stopped smiling all afternoon.

Inspirational Graduates
Nicole Buoni, the 2011 valedictorian, paraphrased Eleanor Roosevelt in her advice to her classmates. “Our commitment to our education is a sign that we are committed to ourselves and that we believe in our dreams,” she offered. A double major in business administration and marketing, Buoni served as a presidential ambassador and peer tutor during her years at Neumann. She researched and wrote an article that was published in the Neumann Business Review and earned induction into two national honor societies: Delta Mu Delta and Delta Pi.


Gerard O'Sullivan, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs, noted that "Nicole is not only admired by her peers, staff and faculty at Neumann but is also well regarded by her employer, Sun East Federal Credit Union. During her internship with Sun East, her supervisors discovered her many talents and decided to create a new position so she could remain with them."


Another noteworthy member of the class of 2011
is Tracy Basden Hunger, a nursing major who cared for her dying father throughout high school. When her father passed away during her senior year of high school, she became the guardian for her younger brother and put herself and her brother through school by working several part- and full-time jobs. Read Tracy's full story here.


The oldest member of the class of 2011 is John Randall, an 80-year-old who earned a master’s degree in strategic leadership to help his church. He earned his undergraduate degree 43 years ago from Widener University (then Pennsylvania Military College). A member of United Methodist Church at Booth's Corner, Randall says that he has noticed a decline in membership at main line Protestant churches in recent years and wanted to do something to address the downward trend. Learning more about leadership, he thought, would be a good first step.


Widener University’s Freedom Battalion commissioned Sean Wallace, a member of Neumann’s class of 2011, as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army on May 12. He is the first student from Neumann to be commissioned through Widener’s ROTC program. A criminal justice major, Wallace will train in Fort Benning, Georgia, to be an armor officer. Widener is the host institution for ROTC activity at seven area colleges and universities, including Neumann University.


Philly Sports Connection
A beloved Philadelphia professional athlete and his son also graduated this year. Keith Primeau was a first-round pick in the 1990 NHL entry draft, played 15 seasons with three teams (Detroit Red Wings, Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes, and Philadelphia Flyers) and wore the "C" as Flyers captain for five years. He graduated with a degree
in liberal studies in the same academic year as his son Corey earned a B.S. in sport management.


A former first-round pick in the NBA’s 1988 draft also received a degree at the graduation. Tim Perry played college basketball at Temple University before playing eight seasons with the Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets. After being away from the classroom for many years, he returned to Neumann and earned his degree in liberal studies.


The total number of Neumann graduates now stands at 10,117 with 20,000 approaching faster than anyone might have imagined back in 1965.




Commencement 2011
The class of 2011 included the first three students to receive the Ed.D. from
Neumann’s doctor of education program
Commencement 2011
Rick Sayers (right) received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award
for Distinguished Teaching from Dr. Gerard O’Sullivan.
Commencement 2011
Degrees in hand, the graduates of 2011 celebrated their accomplishment with a cheer.



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