503 Students Receive
Diplomas As Felician University
Celebrates Its 75th Year
Lodi and Rutherford, NJ – Felician University recently hosted its 53rd annual commencement in Obal Hall on its Lodi campus. Felician President, Dr. Anne Prisco, charged the class of 2017 to focus on human connections and the power of hope.
In Photo: Family and friends proudly watch as Felician students march in to “Pomp and Circumstance” on graduation day.
“Connecting with each other can make a huge difference in our lives, the lives of others, our communities and the world,” Dr. Prisco said. “As you leave here today, know that you remain forever connected with Felician University and that Felician remains forever connected to you.”
Valedictorian Arijana Jasarevic, who immigrated to the United States as a refugee from Yugoslavia in 1995, spoke about coming to this country with just a borrowed two-hundred dollars, and not knowing a word of English. She reiterated Dr. Prisco’s message of connection.
“To my professors, this is not a ‘goodbye,’ this is an ‘I’ll see you later,’” said Jasarevic, who is pursuing a master’s degree at Felician. She also had advice for her fellow students: “Share your true self with the world, and show acceptance so that others can fearlessly do the same… May we live out Franciscan values of compassion, diversity, reverence, peace, respect, service and joy.”
Following the academic procession and invocation by salutatorian Michael Secreti, honorary degrees were presented to keynote speakers Barry Ostrowsky, president and CEO, RWJBarnabas Health, and Marc Buoniconti, president, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis & The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, during the morning and afternoon sessions for the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Education, Nursing and Business.
In photo: Sister Mary Aquinas Szott, chairperson of the Felician Board of Trustees;, commencement speaker Marc Buoniconti; and Dr. Anne Prisco, Felician president.
“Life offers us opportunities to make a difference,” said Buoniconti. “As you graduate and prepare to begin a new chapter in your lives… you’ll be faced with defining moments that come your way in the form of challenges you have to overcome, and rewards from hard work. Your reactions to these defining moments will mark your existence.”
Buoniconti – the son of Miami Dolphin All-Pro and Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti – suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury at the age of 19, while playing college football for The Citadel in 1985. He went on to co-found The Miami Project with neurosurgeon Dr. Barth A. Green, to promote the collaboration between scientific and clinical approaches to finding a cure for paralysis. Additionally, the Buoniconti Fund has been the catalyst in raising $500 million for the cause.
As President and CEO of RWJBarnabas Health, Barry Ostrwosky oversees the second largest private employer in New Jersey. He is spearheading a system-wide endeavor to promote healthier living for employees and community members, and developing effective strategies to address the true social needs of our diverse communities.
In photo: Dr. Anne Prisco, Felician president; commencement speaker Barry Ostrowsky; and Dr. Muriel Shore, Dean of the Felician School of Nursing.
Ostrowsky told Business and Nursing School graduates: “Never lose the confidence that you each have to advocate for what is right. Please use your passionate commitment on behalf of your business or your patients; on behalf of your community; on behalf of your organization.”
Felician University Celebrates Baccalaureate Mass
On Friday, May 19, 2017 Felician graduates attended the Baccalaureate Mass in the beautiful Sisters Chapel at Felician University. Students ministered as acolytes, the cross bearer and lectors. Bishop Manuel Cruz, Auxiliary Bishop of Newark presided over the magnificent Liturgy. The Felician Sisters Choir provided the moving and uplifting music.
After the graduates entered, Dr. Anne Prisco welcomed trustees, parents, friends, graduates, faculty and staff. Dr. Prisco shared the history and meaning of the “Baccalaureate Mass.”
Bishop Cruz, following the proclamation of the Gospel, spoke to the graduates, congratulating them and their families, encouraging the graduates to be humble as Jesus was humble, and to love always. He charged the graduates to live out our Felician Franciscan values. It was evident that his homily touched the hearts of the graduates, as some could be seen wiping a tear from their eyes, and many stopped the Bishop after Mass to thank him and tell him how much his homily touched them.
Following the Mass, many graduates lingered outside the Chapel to take pictures with fellow graduates, faculty members and Dr. Prisco.
About Felician University
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Felician University – with campuses in Lodi and Rutherford, NJ – is a Catholic Franciscan University founded and sponsored by the Felician Sisters in 1942. Felician offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in Arts and Sciences, Business, Nursing and Teacher Education. In 2015, the University was ranked by Money Magazine as one of America’s Top Colleges and also listed among Money’s top 25 private colleges for merit aid. For more information, visit www.felician.edu.