By Claire Crittendon– Features Editor
May 16 was supposed to be one of the biggest milestones to date for both the undergraduate and graduate classes of 2020. While the 166th Commencement ceremony won’t be gracing Taylor Field this month, speakers James Muller, Nancy Snow and Rosa Del Carmen Gomez are actively preparing their speeches for whenever 2020’s graduation will take place.
Keynote Speaker James Muller, an Auburndale resident since 1999, was selected by President Michael Alexander. He has many impactful accomplishments under his belt. In 1985, Muller was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War in Russia throughout the Cold War. Currently working in cardiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Muller reflected on what he wished he’d known in his undergraduate tenure at Notre Dame.
“I would have enjoyed knowing how important it is to experience failure. Because now, I look back on my life and I’ve had far more failures than I’ve had successes. So the success that I’ve been able to achieve in some areas has been the result of tolerating failure, and getting up and trying again,” he said.
“I’d like to express my sadness that the commencement ceremony had to be postponed and deprive the students of the culmination of their important educational periods,” said Muller. “I’m sorry about that. But there’s also some lessons in this pandemic, that we’re all learning.”
Graduate student Nancy Snow was selected to represent her year. Studying for her MSM with a concentration in project management while working as an executive assistant at Lasell Village, Snow heavily identifies with what it means to be a life-long learner.
Graduating from Wheelock College with a degree in early childhood education, Snow respects the importance of flexibility, saying, “you need to be open to shift and be prepared to be happy doing something else.”
“We have had very challenging last few months with the pandemic and resiliency is a very important life skill to acquire,” said Snow. She would also like to thank her boss and President of Lasell Village, Anne Doyle, for encouraging her to get her masters.
Rosa Del Carmen Gomez will be representing the undergraduate class of 2020. Majoring in communication with a concentration in journalism and media writing, this first-generation college student proved to be very involved throughout her four years. Between serving as SGA’s vice president of Academic Affairs and president of Niños de Veracruz, Gomez feels strongly that everyone has a place at Lasell.
“I’ve always looked at Lasell as a place of hope, and I think that’s a common theme I’ve tried to put in the speech, especially now during this time…another theme in there is resilience,” said Gomez. “You might not have been dealt the right cards in life, but you can still manage to work hard.”
“I’m very excited and incredibly humbled to be able to [give this speech],” said Gomez. “There’s a lot of great people in the class of 2020.”