As our Commencement season comes to an end, we want to express a heartfelt congratulations to the Class of 2017 on their recent graduation! We had a number of great events, with the culmination being the 95th Emmanuel College Commencement on Saturday, May 13th. On May 11th, two days before the big event, Emmanuel College celebrated two annual pre-Commencement academic ceremonies: the Nursing Pinning and Recognition Ceremony and the Graduate and Professional Programs Hooding Ceremony. Both events were held in the Emmanuel College Chapel and were followed by receptions in the Auditorium.
Nursing Pinning and Recognition
This year, 19 nursing students received their official nurse’s pins from members of the Nursing Department faculty, as well as congratulations and warm wishes from Emmanuel College President Sister Janet Eisner, SNDand other speakers, including: Vice President of Mission & Ministry and College Chaplain Rev. John Spencer, S.J., Associate Dean of Nursing Diane Shea, Ph.D., Retired Assistant Nursing Professor Helen Ahearn, MSN, RN, and student speaker Cindy Arsenault, RN, CCM. The students were presented with their pins by the Department of Nursing Faculty.
The Nurse’s Pinning Ceremony recognizes undergraduate nursing students for their achievements and successes in meeting degree requirements for their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Receiving the nurse’s pin is a momentous occasion for nurses, as it marks the end of long, rigorous period of study and training and the continuation of a career dedicated to caring for the ill, injured and others in need.
The origin of the pinning ceremony can be traced back to the 12th century Crusades. During that time, monks who vowed to serve sick and injured soldiers received a Maltese cross, the first badge given to those committed to nursing others. The modern version of this ceremony is credited to Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, who was awarded the Red Cross of St. George in 1860 to recognize her tireless service to the injured during the Crimean War. Nightingale continued the tradition when she later opened nursing schools and awarded her pupils a patch, meant to be worn as a badge of courage, which was later adapted into the nurse’s pin.
At this year’s Nurse’s Pinning, the Nursing Department adopted a new tradition: a candle-lighting ritual originated by nursing theorist Jean Watson, who visited Emmanuel in the fall of 2016. Watson, who is known for her Theory of Human Caring, has passed along this candle-lighting demonstration at nurse’s pinning ceremonies all over the world. The candle represents the lamp that Florence Nightingale often carried as she tended to soldiers.
To conclude the ceremony, Fr. John Spencer performed the Blessing of the Hands for each of the graduates. The Blessing of the Hands is a divine sanction for nurses meant to ensure that, as they go into their field and administer care to their patients, their blessed hands will safeguard their work and disburse that blessing to their patients, helping them to heal.
The blessing was followed by closing remarks from Diane Shea, Associate Dean of the Department of Nursing, who said: “My hope for these nurses is that they will continue to be nursing leaders and that they will honor their education. As their acquired skills translate into practice, they will continue to make a difference not only for their patients but for the field of nursing.”
During the ceremony, Shea also presented the following awards: the Clara Barton Service to Humanity Community Award to Monica Adhiambo Onyango, RN, Ph.D., the Clara Barton Service to Humanity Student Award to Fabienne Lundy, RN, and Academic Excellence Awards to Donna Alonardo, Suzanne Lieberman and Maureen McCabe.
Graduate and Professional Programs Hooding Ceremony
At the Graduate and Professional Programs Hooding Ceremony, 37 graduate students were recognized with an official hooding for their accomplishments in completing their programs.
The 37 hooded students received masters’ degrees from the following programs: Master of Education, Master of Science in Management, Master of Science in Management with specialization in Research Administration, Master of Science in Human Resource Management and Master of Science in Nursing.
Among them, three graduate students received the Graduate and Professional Programs Award for Outstanding Scholarship: Mary O’Brien, Master of Education; Kimberly Washington, Master of Science in Management with specialization in Research Administration, and Barbara Healy, Master of Science in Nursing.
During the ceremony, students were addressed by guest speaker Frank Massabni, President and Owner of Cool Tropics, and student speaker and graduate from the Master of Science in Human Resource Management program, Tonya Walker.
The Hooding Ceremony signified graduate students’ progression from students to masters and recognized Emmanuel’s graduate students’ scholarly and professional achievements.