St. Mary’s College of Maryland Graduates 356 at 2024 Commencement

Submitted by Chuck Steenburgh on May 11, 2024 - 1:50 pm
May 11, 2024
By Chuck Steenburgh

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, the National Public Honors College, graduated 356 students with Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Teaching degrees on Saturday, May 11, outdoors on the campus’ Townhouse Green. 

Maryland’s longest-serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD 5th) delivered the keynote address. In his message to the College's newest alumni, he spoke of the impact the pandemic had on this class of students and the significance of the class of 2024 being together amongst family, friends, faculty and staff for the commencement exercises. He said he brought up the pandemic not to focus on what was lost but to reflect on what was gained.

"For while your generation knows better than any other the pain of being apart, you also know better than any other the joy that comes with joining together," Hoyer said. "Because you felt the sorrow of separation, you understand the importance of inclusion.You saw the devastation of distance, and now you have special appreciation for the pleasure of proximity." 

Hoyer received an honorary degree from St. Mary’s College in 1993, at his first appearance as commencement speaker. Hoyer also spoke before the class of 2007.

President Tuajuanda C. Jordan, accompanied by Board of Trustees Chair Susan Dyer, presented an honorary degree to national higher education leader Lynn Pasquerella. 

Since 2016, Pasquerella has been president of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Prior to her position as president of AAC&U, she was president of Mount Holyoke College; provost at the University of Hartford; and vice provost for academic affairs and dean of the graduate school at the University of Rhode Island, where she taught for more than 20 years.

She earned her PhD in philosophy from Brown University; undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College; and associate of arts degree from Quinebaug Valley Community College. 

President Jordan had one request for the Class of 2024. “Recognize and understand the society into which you are now venturing. Give back. Remember the people who have not had the same opportunity, the same blessings, the same education you have. Live the St. Mary’s Way.”

The College’s newest alumni heard from one of the five class valedictorians. The valedictorians were: Sabrina Kuhn, Laura McCarty, Margaret Neuman, Angelie Roche and Ben Springer.

Kuhn was selected to address the class via lottery. She spoke of how she and many classmates grew into adulthood during a time of “great uncertainty,” speaking of experiencing that transition amidst a global pandemic. “The fact that we all made it to graduation here today is a testament to the resilience of our generation,” Kuhn said. Kuhn charged the class to “go forward courageously, armed with knowledge and compassion from your time here, to make the world a better place.”

President Jordan recognized six faculty who retired this year: Karen Crawford, professor of biology; David Ellsworth, associate professor of film and media studies; Rachel Myerowitz, professor of biology; Elizabeth Osborn, professor of sociology; Larry Vote, professor of music; and Christine Wooley, professor of English. Collectively, these retirees represent 161 years of teaching. 

The commencement was live-streamed on the College’s website. 

About the Valedictorians 

Sabrina Kuhn

is a math major and educational studies minor. Vice president of the Wrestling Club, assistant music director of InterChorus, and a choreographer for Dance Club, Kuhn will join the 2025 cohort of the MAT Program.

Laura McCarty

is an anthropology major with a concentration in archaeology and minors in museum studies and history. McCarty is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Lambda Alpha honors societies as well as the Anthropology Club and Climbing Club. Before pursing graduate studies, McCarty plans to work in archaeology. 

Margaret Neuman

is an English major. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies and a previous winner of the English Department Award, the Dean’s Award and the Calculus Prize, Neuman has served as a peer tutor for the Writing and Speaking Center and French. After graduation, Neuman will work in France as an English teaching assistant. Long-term, Neuman plans a career in editing and publishing.

Angelie Roche

is a psychology major with a minor in educational studies. Roche served as editor-in-chief of The Point News, a peer health educator, a writing tutor and a student representative on the JED Campus Steering Committee. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi honors societies, Roche will work as an assistant teacher at the Katherine Thomas School and intern at the University of Maryland's TOGETHER lab before pursuing a graduate degree in family therapy.

Ben Springer

is an environmental studies major with a minor in biology. A member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society, the Music Club and the Southern Maryland Audubon Society. Springer plans a career in bird and habitat conservation. 


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