Dean Boehm-Davis Recaps 2014 Convocation Ceremonies

Dean Boehm-Davis Recaps 2014 Convocation Ceremonies
Dean Boehm-Davis addresses graduates during a convocation ceremony.

Over two nights in May, College of Humanities and Social Sciences students, families, friends, faculty, and staff came together to take part in the convocations for the college’s graduates. The ceremonies included the awarding of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, and allowed students at three levels of academic achievement to celebrate together. 

On Wednesday, May 14, the graduates of the humanities and interdisciplinary programs marched across the Patriot Center stage. College alumna Angie Goff, BA communication ’01, connected strongly to the graduates by recounting some of her favorite memories of her Mason experience and by describing the often indirect path she took to her current position as a broadcast journalist on WRC-TV. She encouraged the graduates to create their own opportunities through hard work and to defy the negative preconception of what it means to be part of the “millennial” generation.

Michael Whitlock, BA government and international politics ’96, addressed the college’s graduates in the social sciences on Thursday, May 15. An accomplished attorney at international law firm Bingham McCutchen, LLP, and a former federal prosecutor, Whitlock fondly recalled the lifelong friendships he formed while a student at Mason. Like Goff, he encouraged the graduates to persevere in their search for their life’s work, and emphasized the value in taking risks in order to fulfill their potential.

Altogether, nearly 2,000 students took part in the convocation ceremonies, and both evenings rolled out before a nearly full Patriot Center. Doc Nix and the Green Machine provided an energetic musical introduction each evening. I had the pleasure of addressing both sets of students and their families.

As I shared with them, I share with you my hope that since your graduation you have found that the skills you earned through your education have been a basis for a lifetime of learning, not just merely training for one particular job. I also hope that you feel that you learned three attributes that I feel are critical to success: the ability to communicate, the importance of understanding a wide range of knowledge, and critical thinking skills for questioning, learning and growing far beyond the boundaries of the university. Our work in the college, focusing on humanities and social sciences, has armed you with a human perspective, a way of understanding how people work together, as a foundation for your life – both at, and away from, work.

The college warmly congratulates its graduates, thanks them for their contributions to the college and the university, and is confident in their success as they join you in the ranks of alumni.