SHU Welcomes Class of 2014 at Convocation

News Story: September 1, 2010
President Cernera hands out
copies of "Prayers From the Heart"
during Convocation.

Sacred Heart University welcomed the largest freshman class in its history at its formal convocation ceremonies for the Class of 2014. The festivities, which also included the presentation of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Father James Martin, S.J., took place in the William H. Pitt Health and Recreation Center, on September 8.

In addition to welcoming 987 new first-year students, a record total, SHU also greeted 141 transferring students from schools around the country. Together, they make up the largest influx of new students in University history. With a robust graduate enrollment, this cohort brings the student body to more than 6,000.

The formal opening of the academic year featured music by the University’s Liturgical Choir, under the leadership of , director of Choral Programs, and , assistant director. Following the traditional procession of faculty and staff in their colorful academic robes, a student invocation was offered by two first-year students, Julianne O’Hara and Nicholai Samuels. Kelly Leather, president of the Student Government Association, and Dr. Audrey Beauvais, assistant professor of Nursing, offered formal greetings to the assembly.

President Cernera, right, presents
Fr. James Martin with his degree.

The citation for Father Martin, culture editor for America magazine and a New York Times best-selling author, was read by Dr. Bridget Lyons, chair and associate professor of Economics and Finance, assisted by University Trustee James T. Morley, who vested the honoree. Father Martin, a Jesuit priest who performed ministry in Jamaica and New York City as well as two years in Africa assisting refugees while in the seminary, is the author of numerous books. These include A Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything and My Life with the Saints. Father Martin, who addressed a crowd of 300 that evening, discussed the attitudes that are valuable for success in college.

In a traditional welcome, the University’s president, Dr. Anthony J. Cernera, presented a copy to each new student in attendance of the University’s prayer book, Prayers from the Heart. The book contains classic and well known prayers as well as many created by members of the University community. It is offered as a special sign of the University’s Catholic identity and heritage.

 To watch a video from Father Martin's lecture in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, click here.