More than 850 students from 23 states earned degrees during Marywood’s 97th annual commencement on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Casey Plaza, in Wilkes-Barre Township.
Reverend Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., Ed.D., was the keynote speaker. Rev. Holtschneider, 11th president of DePaul University, Chicago, Ill., the nation’s largest Catholic university and the largest private university in the Midwest, also received an honorary doctorate during the ceremony.
The priest and academic recalled a summer spent studying Spanish in Panama during the 1980’s reign of military dictator and drug kingpin Manuel Noriega. He told the students about discovering a brightly-lit casino and a landing strip in the mountains, notable because most of the surrounding villages were very poor and had no electricity. Most of the locals ignored or quietly tolerated the oppressive waste of resources, but the Catholic Church was quick to criticize its existence, he said.
“Ignoring or accepting that sort of injustice is the exact opposite of the purpose of your education,” the Rev. Holtschneider told the students. “Here at Marywood University, you weren’t just trained to see the world in front of you,” he said. “You were trained to act.”
Speaking after the Rev. Holtschneider, Marywood University President Sister Anne Munley IHM reminded the graduates to keep up the three pillars of their alma mater—holiness, knowledge, and health—as they head out into the world. Sister Anne advised the Class of 2015, “Keep that holy curiosity alive in all of your endeavors.”