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Past Commencements

Congratulations, Class of 2010!

Delivering the 105th Simmons College undergraduate commencement address May 14, highly acclaimed poet Elizabeth Alexander, Ph.D., implored new Simmons graduates to embark on one courageous act a day. "It's a process that readies us for our moment in the sun," she said.

Alexander, one of the nation's leading voices in modern poetry and the inaugural poet for President Barack Obama, spoke to more than 530 undergraduate women, before an audience of family and friends at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston.

In her speech, Alexander focused on the insurmountable power of love when facing life's challenges, and encouraged graduates to never forget love of self. "You must struggle to get to a higher level of purpose and understanding," said Alexander, who received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Simmons.

Chair of the African American Studies Department at Yale University, Alexander was chosen by President Obama to compose and recite her poem "Praise Song for the Day" for the January 2009 inauguration; she is the fourth poet in history to do so.

International health care expert Beverly Malone, R.N., Ph.D., delivered the afternoon commencement address for the more than 1,200 graduates receiving master's and doctorates. Malone told graduates to be sure to stop and celebrate each of life's victories, no matter how big or small. "Cinch by the inch, hard by the yard," she said. Malone received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Nursing from Simmons.

Among the highlights of the morning ceremony was a special presentation to Faith Gobuty of California, a member of the class of 1973. Gobuty had her bachelor's degree from Simmons 37 years ago but did not attend her commencement until May 14, when her husband, David, orchestrated a surprise trip to the ceremony to allow her to walk. Click here to read coverage of the special surprise in the Boston Globe

Honorary degree recipients included Roslyn Jaffe, a Simmons College graduate, and a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur who co-founded Dress Barn, a women's clothing retailer; Brewster Kahle, a highly successful computer scientist and advocate for public Internet access; Frances Moore Lappe, a social activist who focuses on food and development policy; and Marion Walter, Ph.D., a widely published academic author and former mathematics professor at Simmons.