CCA and CPA students encouraged to reach goals with momentum and perseverance

CCA and CPA students encouraged to reach goals with momentum and perseverance


Master’s degree candidates danced joyfully in the front row as music provided by Rowan’s Pep Band and student vocalists welcomed graduates as they processed across the University Green for the 2017 College of Communication & Creative Arts and College of Performing Arts joint commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 10.

A spirit of celebration and reflection was evident as the morning began.

Melissa Kirk, a Sicklerville resident about to earn a Bachelor of Art degree in Art (with a minor in Art History and Education), was excited for the day ahead as she considered two families: the one created here with her fellow students, and her own.

“I’m the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college,” she said with pride while also reveling in the moment with her peers at the end of her years on campus. “It’s all been worth it.”

Chairman of the Rowan Board of Trustees Linda Rohrer greeted the students seated before her and honored them as “conduits to information and avenues of joy,” recognizing their impact on the world and their creative range as journalists and musicians, designers and dancers, artists and advertising professionals, filmmakers and writers, among others.

“Momentum” was the word of the day for Rowan President Dr. Ali Houshmand, noting the enthusiasm with which they approached work, studies, research, volunteerism, and so much more.

“You have been the picture of energy, individually and collectively – a true body in motion,” he praised.

In his commencement address, Tom Stathakes, winner of the Medal of Excellence for Alumni Achievement, sought to demonstrate the path ahead for the new graduates by reflecting on his experiences since graduating from then-Glassboro State College in 1983. Stathakes, senior vice president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet (CSN) Bay Area and CSN California, recalled his own personal losses around the time he graduated and offered some key advice in facing the challenges that could lay ahead. He endorsed some possible keys to fulfillment in life and work, as well.

“Take the job that makes you nervous, not the job that’s the easiest,” he said as he also encouraged the graduates to dream and celebrate, give back and pay it forward, embrace empathy and kindness, and always strive to work toward the next goal. “No virtue in this world is more important than perseverance.”