Spring Commencement 2011

Eight hundred and eighty two students participated in Molloy's commencement exercises, which took place on May 23. This was the third year the event was held at the Nassau Coliseum due to the construction of the new Public Square facility and the new residence hall on campus.

The 2011 Commencement speaker was Eileen C. McDonnell,'84, Chief Executive Officer, Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. Citing examples from her own professional career, Ms. McDonnell urged students to "ask for what they want and be willing to take control of their own destiny." She stressed that "the graduates all have the potential for unlimited possibilities."

She shared some of the challenges that faced her both professionally and personally, and discussed how she managed those situations. She told the graduates "don't settle for less than what you want or know you are capable of doing."
Molloy College president Drew Bogner, Salutatorian Joseph Ciano and Valedictorian Jennifer Roveto.McDonnell suggested to the graduates that they should take advantage of opportunities to be mentored, and to volunteer for assignments that will broaden their knowledge about the industry they are working in.

McDonnell also shared three major themes she believes shaped her life: dreaming about what is possible; making choices, being accountable and learning from outcomes; and knowing the power of relationships in achieving your dreams. She added "we all need supportive people around us to succeed. I learned that there is no single thing more important in life than the value of strong personal relationships."

Ms. McDonnell graduated from Molloy in 1984 after majoring in mathematics and computer science. She joined Penn Mutual in 2008 as the company's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and in 2010 she was named President and joined the company's Board of Trustees. In 2011 she was appointed CEO of Penn Mutual and oversees all day-to-day operations.

Ms. McDonnell came to Penn Mutual following an impressive 20-year career in the financial services industry. In addition to holding several prestigious board positions, she serves as a national advisor to Vision 2020, a national project of the Drexel University College of Medicine Institute for Women's Health & Leadership that is focused on advancing gender equality by energizing the dialogue about women and leadership.

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