NEWBURGH – Mount Saint Mary College honored 35 graduates of its prestigious Nursing program at a pinning ceremony on Friday, August 25.
Fr. Gregoire Fluet, 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.”
“The journey to become a registered, professional nurse is not an easy one,” said Linda Kelly, associate professor of Nursing, as she welcomed the Class of 2023 and their families. “These students have just reached a milestone…and are prepared to make the transition from student nurse to graduate nurse.”
Lynette DeBellis, associate professor of Nursing, chair of the School of Nursing, and Mount alumna, congratulated the students on a job well done during her keynote.
“Embrace the diversity of your colleagues and learn from one another,” said DeBellis, adding, “Nurses have a unique perspective of understanding how precious life is…Nursing is not just a profession.”
Graduates Brandon Rawlins of Wallkill, N.Y. and Tessa Voelker of Milford, Pa. offered their reflections on the group’s journey. Although it was sometimes difficult, becoming a nurse was worth it. They also thanked the families of the new nurses for providing child care, love, support, and more during the journey.
“Thank you for loving us and each other,” said Voelker.
“And thanks for listening,” added Rawlins.
The graduates were thankful for the mentoring of the Mount’s nursing professors. Jasmine Nguyen of New Windsor, N.Y. applauded her professors for their tireless dedication: “I extend my gratitude to the Mount Saint Mary College faculty, whose expertise has played an important role in my academic journey,” she said.
The graduates were also full of praise for their families. Dorothy Tighe of Walden, N.Y., was pinned by her sister, Laura McNamee.
“I dedicate my pin to my grandparents,” said Tighe. “Thank you for having faith and inspiring me to become a nurse. Mom and Dad, I’m forever grateful for the opportunities you have provided me. And to my sisters and friends, I am so blessed to be supported by you.”
DeBellis recognized several students for excellence. The award recipients were: Sydney Roth of Pleasant Valley, N.Y. who was given the General Excellence in Nursing Award; Kayla Beckvermit of New Windsor, N.Y. who received the School of Nursing Clinical Excellence Award; Jordyn Bass of New Paltz, N.Y., who earned both the School of Nursing Leadership Award and the Sigma Theta Tau Leadership Award; Danielle Ceccolini of Stormville, N.Y. who earned the Spirit of Nursing Award; and Pascall Garner of Sugar Loaf, N.Y. who received the Perseverance Award.
To close out the ceremony, the proud graduates recited “A Nurse’s Prayer,” which speaks of dedicating one’s life to helping others.