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Tributes to the Degree Recipients

Congratulations to all Rosemont College 2020 Degree Recipients!

On Saturday, May 16th, Rosemont College held Virtual Tributes to the 2020 Degree Recipients via Zoomand shared through Facebook Live.

President Sharon L Hirsh led the Tributes to honor the degree recipients who would have walked for commencement, if it were not for the  Covid-19 pandemic. Separate Tributes were held via Zoom for the degree recipients of the Undergraduate College and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Recordings of these Tributes:

In her remarks, President Hirsh said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so many disruptions to our lives over the last two months, but perhaps one of the most disappointing is that the College cannot celebrate this milestone with our usual very festive and warm Commencement Ceremony.  It is my hope – and the hope of everyone in the Rosemont College community – that this afternoon’s Tribute will help to mark this important milestone in your lives.”

President Hirsh make a special to acknowledgement of the faculty of the Undergraduate College.  Since the mid-March immediate transition from in-person to online classes, they have navigated along with the students to the new normal of teaching online.  According to President Hirsh, that transition was a challenge to both faculty and students. “I am very grateful for the resiliency and dedication they displayed.  And, I know you join me in thanking them, not just for these past two months, but for the past four years of their commitment to you and to Rosemont College.”

As part of her remarks, President Hirsh presented the Distinguished Faculty Awards.


Undergraduate College Awards

At the Undergraduate College Tribute, President Hirsh announced two recipients of the Presidential Medal for the Undergraduate College, the highest honor bestowed upon a student, who has demonstrated exemplary intellectual achievement as well as distinction in some combination of the following: service to the community, contribution to the arts, enlargement of our global perspective, athletic fitness and achievement, leadership, and contribution to community discourse. The recipients were Mary Grace Murray  and Deaynna Koskulitz.

Mary Grace Murray  was described by her nominator as, “an outstanding student who is exceptionally bright and has a genuine love of learning. She is double majoring in Biology and Chemistry and is completing a minor in Mathematics. She is one of the best in her graduating class earning a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and one of the best that I have seen in all my years of teaching! I have been so impressed by her abilities.” Ms Murray has been conducting graduate level research at Temple University, and intends to pursue an MD/PhD in the future.

Ms Murray student is also actively involved with Campus Ministry by being a retreat leader, lector, reader, and altar server at masses, organizing and coordinating the two service projects at orientation that were started this year, and participating in the service trip to Saint Francis Inn.  She's also an active member of the Interfaith Center and has been a guest speaker at many interfaith events.

She volunteers at the Inglis House throughout the year and she is the President of the Pre-Health Club organizing numerous events and inviting guest speakers. She is also a sought after tutor in biology and chemistry at the Student Academic Support Center, and she has been a wonderful student ambassador representing the College and particularly, the Sciences.

As one nominator for Deaynna Koskulitz wrote, “One of the best students that I have encountered in nearly 20 years of teaching, she is remarkable in both her academic and professional nature, showing characteristics rarely seen in an undergraduate. She is both academically and intellectually driven, asking and pursuing difficult questions inside and outside the classroom.

While her 4.0 GPA points out her academic achievements, it does not emphasize how much she focuses on her learning and not just her grades. She is not only a double-major in Political Science and English, but also attempted to minor in Pre-Law and Spanish.”

The recipient of the prestigious Cornelian ScholarshipDeaynna Koskulitz has presented at numerous SEPCHE Honors Conferences, attained Dean’s List each semester, been an active member of the Honors Program, and has held leadership roles in many student organizations on campus, including Thorn, Book Club, Jest and Gesture, the College Democrats, the Pre-Law Society, Raven Peer Leaders, and the Bridge Program.

She also has been active with the Cornelian Service Corps, participating in three service trips during her time at Rosemont. An intern last summer at the Casa Cornelia Law Center in San Diego, she supported the firm’s work to help unaccompanied children and other immigration cases. She continued these efforts outside of the academic setting, working for the Nationalities Services Center which support refugees in Philadelphia and then for the Public Interest Law Center.


Presidential Medal for the School of Graduate & Professional Studies

At the School of Graduate and Professional Studies’ Tribute, President Hirsh announced two recipients of the Presidential Medal for the School of Graduate & Professional Studies, the highest honor bestowed upon a student, who has demonstrated exemplary intellectual achievement as well as distinction in some combination of the following: service to the community, contribution to the arts, enlargement of our global perspective, athletic fitness and achievement, leadership, and contribution to community discourse. The recipient was to Bhaskari Budhavarapu.

Bhaskari Budhavarapu, who received her Master’s Degree in as described by her nominator as, “thoughtful, self-perceptive, and interested in making an impact in her community and beyond” having observed her in two graduate classes, serving as faculty member in the Global Seminar that she attended in Sorrento, Italy in 2019, and having served as her thesis advisor this year. During the Trip, she was among the top students in her ability to connect with each other, reach out and meet Italian citizens to gain their perspective of healthcare, and truly gain a broad world view.”

In addition, as a current staff member on the Rosemont Student Life team, Ms Budhavarapu provides Undergraduate College students with leadership opportunities, works closely with Campus Ministry and the Wellness Center to provide opportunities for students on campus and assisted and planned welcome week, Student Orientation at Rosemont (SOAR), and programming efforts.  She also worked very closely with students and encouraged them to get involved in Student Government, and to attend fun and engaging events created by the department.


Conclusion of Events

Following President  Hirsh’s remarks at bother Tributes, Lisa M Dolling, PhD, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs, read each degree candidate’s name, honors and awards as the names were displayed on the screen. Sister Jeanne Hatch, Vice President for Mission, concluded the virtual events with a blessing.

The degree recipients each received a special gift by mail, an academic cap with a 2020 tassel.  The purchase and shipping of the caps was donated by loyal group of alumni, as well as by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Alumni Association as a welcome as new alumni of Rosemont College. The recipients were encourages to share photos on social media using the hashtag RoCo2020. 

The Tribute were not intended be a formal Commencement Ceremony, as that will take place on Saturday, May 15th, 2021, and all degree recipients are invited and encouraged to participate at that time. The planned commencement ceremony, originally scheduled for May 16th, 2020, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. FAQs for Graduates