FSU Graduates Told ‘don’t Settle’
FITCHBURG — There was an audible sigh of relief from the undergraduate class of 2019 when Dr. Alberto Cardelle allowed the students to sit down. Not because the students realized they officially survived four years of college and could start their adult lives, but because most of the female graduates had been wearing high heels since 9 a.m.
Six hundred and thirty-nine students walked across the stage on the “quadrangle” grassy area in the middle of Fitchburg State University Saturday morning for the 123rd undergraduate commencement ceremony.
Family, friends and school staff cheered on the graduating class as they collected their diplomas. The school has now sent out a plethora of new young individuals with degrees in everything from technology education to political science to nursing.
This year’s commencement speaker was Steven Borges, a graduate of FSU’s class of 1990 and current CEO of Nypro Healthcare. Borges said that he expressed his excitement for being invited back to the school to his fellow alumni. Their response?
“My so-called friends responded with, ‘We love you, we are excited for you, but no way would have thought you would give the commencement speech,’” Borges said.
The Somerset native noted that his older sister, Diane, was also an FSU alumni. Borges said that while he entered FSU undeclared, he found his path with the help of Professor Joseph McAloon.
Throughout his time at FSU and his life, he picked up seven lessons he wanted the graduates to take with them.
“Build your foundation to learn, select a process for looking forward, don’t settle, push your boundary of risk versus reward, serve others, lean on those who love you and be there for them, and follow your heart,” Borges said. “In doing these seven things, you can anticipate success and misses, challenges and opportunities, and among all of it, you can expect pride and growth to be the best Fitchburg State alumni, and the best person you can be!”
Local government officials also came by to salute the new graduates, including Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale and State Senator Dean Tran.
“I know how hard you have worked,” Tran said. “Take the time to enjoy the triumph. We need all of you to thrive and be the best and brightest.”
“This accomplishment belongs to you as well as your loved ones here today,” DiNatale said.
Some of the students graduating have little time to celebrate. Cameron Lacouture of Leominster, excited to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, said he starts his new job as a credit analyst at the Sterilite Corporation in Townsend this Monday.
“You’re always nervous whenever you start something new,” Lacouture said.
Kiya Bodendorf of Westfield, with her Bachelor of Science degree in sociology, said she’s moving to Garden Grove, California at the end of the month to find work.
“California has always appealed to me and I thought this was the best time to make a huge life-changing move,” Bodendorf said. “I’m really excited and a little apprehensive about the future.”
Valedictorian Madison Medina, who earned summa cum laude status on a 4.0 GPA with her Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice, will start her tenure at the Municipal Police Training Committee academy next week. Medina, a graduate of Lowell Catholic High School said that after juggling varsity softball and soccer with her education, she hopes her career path leads to becoming a detective.
“I think being a police officer is one of the most rewarding jobs,” Medina said.