Ruth Salas could only beam as she joined other University of Bridgeport students preparing for Commencement on Saturday morning at the Webster Bank Arena.
For the past four years, Salas has juggled a full-time job and the rigors of being a mother to two young sons with school. But within the hour, she’d receive her Bachelor of Science in Business.
“It was quite a journey,” said Salas, “My goal is to get an MBA so I’ll be back, but today I’m half-way there. It feels great. My husband and sons are here. I’m always telling my sons, ‘Go to college. Go right away. You have to finish.’ Today I can be an example.”
Nearly 1,500 members of the Class of 2015 shared that sense of pride at the University’s 105th Commencement. UB alumna, the Honorable Sheridan Moore ’75, received a Doctorate of Humane Letters before delivering the Commencement Address. Members of the Class of 1965 also crossed the stage at Webster Bank Arena to become Golden Knights on the 50th anniversary of their UB graduation.
A separate graduation ceremony will be held 2 p.m. Monday, May 11 for 200 Health Sciences programs.
Martina Santia ’15, an international student from Italy who earned a B.S. in Mass Communications and International Political Economy and Diplomacy, was Class Speaker. Santia told the Class of 2015 that it should be proud of its rich cultural diversity.
“If there is one thing that distinguishes UB students from everyone else, it is our approachable and inherently curious nature. We are a community that draws students from over 80 countries. And of course, with people come ideas. Brilliant ideas. Ideas that inspire and encourage. Ideas that change the world,” she said. “Let us take this world and fill it with UB pride.”
Kerian Allen ’15 was ready to do just that. Allen earned her M.S. in Education on Saturday. She said she first decided to become a special education teacher when her cousin was diagnosed with dyslexia many years ago and saw how difficult and confusing it could be for students to get appropriate help.
“I want to be that person they can come to,” said Allen, who took classes at UB while tutoring middle and high school students at Rye Neck High School in Mamaronek, NY.
Jose Cabrera ’15 reflected on how much he’d changed since his freshman year. “When I first came to UB I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” said Cabrera. Then he enrolled in creative writing classes.
“Writing has given me a voice,” he said. “It’s giving me something I will love doing for the rest of my life.”
Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, firstname.lastname@example.org