WILKES-BARRE TWP. – Bishop Joseph Bambera reminded more than 400 King’s College graduates on Sunday that the learning institution had prepared them not simply to make a living, but to make a life.
“In whatever path you pursue, always look beyond yourself,” he said. “You will be a success. Your lives will be filled with meaning and purpose.”
The meaning of commencement, Bambera said, was not completion, but beginning.
“The best years of your life are yet to come,” he said. “Go find them and make them your own.”
Class President Jonathan Larralde told fellow students to stay connected to each other after graduation.
“Look to your left and to your right,” he said. “We are each others’ assets.”
On a lighter note, Larralde reminded graduates of the last week of the fall semester of their senior year when they participated in an “ugly sweater” contest and of the multitude of nights where pizza from a local restaurant got them through difficult examinations.
Larralde looked back on the four years he and his classmates had spent together as a time of both successes and challenges.
“Some of us changed majors, having to find new dreams,” he said. “We succeeded by stepping out of our comfort zone – and by drinking countless cups of coffee.”
The Rev. Thomas O’Hara, a former president of the college, encouraged graduates to be forward thinking, while also embracing their history.
O’Hara, a Hazleton native, said his father was a coal miner and his mother was a seamstress in the garment industry.
“They worked hard to make my education possible,” he said. “Never forget your family. Honor them.”
Graduate Sydney Myers, of Mountain Top, said she had a wonderful four years and a wonderful week preceding graduation.
“The had a different activity every day. It was a great experience,” Myers, who graduated magna cum laude, said.
Graduate Mike Tumminello, of Maryland, said he had hoped that people would learn how to pronounce his name correctly before graduation, but it didn’t happen.
Still, Tummiello, who came to King’s as a kicker for the football team, said he loved the friends he made and experiences he had as a King’s undergraduate.
“I loved just walking through the campus,” he said. “I’ve made good memories.”
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