Commencement Address 2017

President Drew Bogner's Remarks at Commencement 2017

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, faculty, administration and staff, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2017 Commencement ceremony.

First, to the graduates of the Class of 2017, let me extend my sincere congratulations.

I would like to extend my thanks to the faculty for another job well done in educating this next group of Molloy alumni.

I would also like to extend my sincere appreciation to the members of the Board of Trustees, who are seated behind me, for their tremendous leadership.

In a few minutes, you, the Class of 2017, will walk across this stage, receive your diploma from me and become graduates of Molloy College.

A picture of Molloy President, Drew BognerYou will join almost 23,000 alumni who have traversed this same stage before you - each with a story of success.  But as Molloy graduates, you are a bit different from those graduating from other institutions.

You are called to be agents of transformation - to live lives of impact!

How much impact can one person make?

If you are a nurse graduating from Molloy - you will see a minimum of 3,000 patients yearly - that's around 100,000 over your life.

For social workers, or a therapist, it's about the same.

As a teacher in a self-contained classroom, around 1,000 students. For a secondary teacher, four to five times that.

As accountants, you will impact companies and their hundreds of thousands of employees each year.

There is also an exponential aspect to the impact you will have - how you treat the myriad of individuals you encounter, those 3,000 or 100,000, will shape their lives, their attitudes and their world view and they in turn, through your actions, will treat others differently.

If you need an example of this generative impact, look no further than our own Bob Houlihan, Vice President for Student Affairs, who is retiring at the end of August after 36 years.

During his tenure at Molloy, he has impacted tens of thousands of Molloy students, in some cases more indirectly, but in profound ways, for many others.

When I came to Molloy 17 years ago, there was little in the way of campus life. I remember my wife Karen and I as the new, young president and first lady, being invited by the students to the Halloween Party. There were the three students there who organized it, about seven to eight of their friends and five freshmen girls who came dressed in costumes.

They were, needless to say, surprised and shocked that there was no real party.

There was, at that time, a misguided, widely held viewpoint on campus - that commuter students were too busy working to get involved.  I refused to believe that, and asked Bob to assume the duties as Vice President for Student Affairs.

I had noticed from my first days on campus Bob's invitational way with students - his unique ability to identify a student's interests and abilities and match each to an opportunity for involvement and growth.

The results were mercurial as campus life changed to become a strength of the College, and numerous individuals changed as well, becoming more confident as leaders and agents of transformation.

Bob also changed lives by the simple act of his presence at every conceivable student activity.

I learned from Bob to never underestimate the power of a supportive presence as a means to helping others grow and develop.

Bob's impact has been wide and deep.

If you have been touched in your life journey by Bob, PLEASE STAND.

There is no better example of the impact one can have on others through human interaction than Bob Houlihan.

Bob dispenses a lot of metaphorical dollars every day.

Those who were at Class Night know what I mean.

Molloy graduates, I challenge you to live up to the legacy of Bob Houlihan by embracing the transformative power of each and every human interaction - to treasure and respect each encounter with another.

As you leave Molloy, commit to being a positive agent of change.

Congratulations! We have a surprise.

It is my pleasure to introduce Dan Henry, Chairman of the Board who will read the citation for the Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree the College is bestowing on Bob Houlihan.

Bob, please join me on the stage.  

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