- by Mount Saint Mary College
Mount Saint Mary College’s Nurse Pinning ceremony honored nearly 80 graduates of the program on Friday, May 17.

Mount Saint Mary College honored nearly 80 graduates of its prestigious Nursing program at a pinning ceremony on Friday, May 17.

As per Mount tradition, the nurse pinning is a prelude to the college’s annual Commencement ceremony. The next day, Saturday, May 18, the Mount awarded degrees to nearly 450 graduates, including the newly-minted nurses.

“This pinning ceremony commemorates the dedication and determination exhibited by the graduates as they worked toward completing the academic requirements for a baccalaureate degree in Nursing,” noted Linda Kelly, assistant professor of Nursing, as she welcomed the Class of 2024 and their families. “Today we celebrate your achievement.”

Fr. Gregoire Fluet, Interim President of the college, chaplain, and director of Campus Ministry, blessed the pins, which were presented to the graduates by chosen family members and friends. The Mount nursing pin displays the college seal and motto, “doce me veritatem,” which translates as “teach me the truth.”

Nurses have had an incalculable impact on Fr. Fluet and his family, he explained. In an accident with a steam press in 1964, Fr. Fluet’s dad suffered second and third degree burns across his left arm. A friend of the family, a nurse in her 70s, vowed to aid the injured man. Every day for a month, she selflessly returned to the Fluet home, until Fr. Fluet’s father recovered.

“You are entering into a vocation of healing,” Fr. Fluet said, “I heal spiritually, and uplift. You will heal physically, but join me in uplifting…just like that elderly nurse did for my family.

He added, “I honor you for your knowledge and I honor you for your dedication. God bless you, the world needs you, and we thank you.”

Lynette DeBellis, Nursing associate professor, chair of the School of Nursing, and Mount alumna, praised the students for their positive attitudes and commitment to their craft.

“You are starting a career in one of the most essential and trusted healthcare professions,” she said. “Indeed, nurses are with individuals from every critical passage, from the beginning of life to the end…I know you have the knowledge, the preparation, and the skills to succeed in anything you might want to achieve in nursing. We will be cheering you on.”

Riley Norwood of East Haven, Conn., president of the Mount’s Student Nurses’ Association, offered her reflections on the group’s journey to becoming nurses. She urged her fellow graduates to not get wrapped up in titles and roles, but instead, to focus on being the best nurses they can be.

“Today marks a pivotal moment in our lives, not only because it symbolizes the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, but because it urges us to reflect on a profound question: What are you going to do, and how does it differ from what you are going to be?” said Norwood. “The journey ahead is not solely defined by our profession, but our internal spark that drives us.”

The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Ann Murray, instructor of Nursing at the Mount. Murray patterned her talk after the rhyming prose of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss.

“Oh, the scrubs they will wear, the stethoscopes too. All the things they will do, and all the lives they’ll renew,” she said. “With a spirit that’s caring and a heart that’s so kind, these nurses are one of a most special kind.”

The graduates were full of praise for their families. Isabella Nicole Barile of Newburgh, N.Y., was pinned by her parents, Nick and Patty Barile.

“To my loved ones, today as I receive this pin, I acknowledge all that it took to get here,” she said. “Your tremendous support has allowed me to recognize my strengths and purpose throughout this journey. Thank you for being my constant and for offering me guidance when I needed it most.”

DeBellis recognized several students for academic excellence. In addition to Norwood, who earned the School of Nursing Leadership Award, the award recipients were Alyssa Caswell of Fishkill, N.Y.; who was given the General Excellence in Nursing Award; Kiersten Maslar of Monroe, Conn., who received the School of Nursing Clinical Excellence Award; Carly Green of Holbrook, N.Y., who got the Spirit of Nursing Award; Catherine Masayda of Watertown, Conn., who received the Perseverance Award; and Riley Antalek of Fishkill, N.Y., who received the Sigma Theta Tau Leadership Award.

To close out the ceremony, the proud graduates recited “A Nurse’s Prayer,” which speaks of dedicating one’s life to helping others.

View the gallery:

Nurse Pinning May 2024


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