The graduation ceremony for the fall class of 2014 at Minnesota School of Business-Richfield (MSB) was one heck of a doozy! There was music and singing, there were hugs and tears, there was laughter and reflection – and bejeweled graduation caps!
The nursing students kicked the day off by hosting a beautiful pinning ceremony at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Lakeville. Admissions Representative Karen Miller welcomed everyone and Dean of Nursing Kendra Saal shared a reflection from the nursing program faculty. Graduating student Denise Franco shared her thoughts on the three year journey she and her classmates had finally completed.
After Kendra presented the nurses and supporting family members and friends pinned them with the MSB Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Pin, former Dean of Nursing at MSB, Faye Uppman performed the traditional “Lighting of Candles” and “Blessing of the Hands” rituals. Once the graduates recited the UTA Son Professional Nursing Pledge, they were off to celebrate with family, friends, and each other.
But the day was far from over! Back in Richfield, a commencement ceremony for the entire MSB graduating class was about to begin. To start things off, Campus Director Stacy Severson welcomed the graduates and the packed audience, and the inimitable MSB instructor Portia Heller introduced the graduate speaker.
Portia had this to say about the speaker, Taylor Smith: “She has been a consistent honor student throughout her time at MSB, and being a glutton for punishment, will be returning winter quarter to begin work on her bachelor’s in business management with an emphasis in human resources. She has a wonderful boyfriend, and her beauty and giving nature is the result of a very loving and supportive family.”
“What we have done today can never be taken from us,” Taylor, who graduated with as associate degree in business administration, told the graduates. “The material things like our degrees will aid us in our journeys, but it is the intangible things that will get us to our destinations,” she said. “We will never forget the people who have shaped our minds and shown us our true potential. MSB has been a place to foster our minds and bodies in this critical learning phase. I don’t think any of us expected to receive the impeccable education and never-ending support that we did,” Taylor added.
Next up was Internet Marketing Program Chair Richard Grossman, whom Portia described as “a blithe spirit, a bard, a poet, a minstrel, an actor and a teacher.” Richard shared a fable from the book “When Things Fall Apart,” by Pema Chodron. In the fable, a young student warrior learns how to defeat fear.
He went on to explain how the new graduates can learn to banish negative messages and surround themselves with confidence. “Each of us is born with the innate gift of security, wisdom and confidence; no one can take it away from us; and it’s always present and ready to support us when we need it,” said Richard. “This innate gift lives within the balance of heart and mind. Trust it to carry you through every single challenge you face from this day forward,” he advised.
Then it was time for the highlight of the evening. Richard, accompanied by pianist Tim Belden, began singing a rewritten version of The Beatles’ song “Hey Jude.” Richard’s version was entitled “Hey Stude.” Lyrics? Here’s a sample:
“Hey Stude, this is your night. We all salute you and your accomplishments. Remember to share your gifts with the world. That’s how you begin to make it Better better better better better BETTER!”
By the end of the song, the graduates were waving their arms in the air and the whole auditorium was singing along! It was an experience to behold.
The keynote address was presented by Pamela Snyder. Pamela is the nurse recruiter and retention officer for the VA Medical Center and has 40 years of experience in the nursing field. “Our guest speaker is in a profession that is about as close to God as one can get, and that profession is nursing,” Portia said in her introduction. Pamela’s inspiring speech focused on the power of overcoming obstacles in order to reach one’s goals.
At last, diplomas, degrees, and master’s hoods were conferred. After a few closing remarks, the 2014 fall graduates were let loose upon the world, to conquer their fears and make it… better better BETTER! Na, na na nanana!