DARIEN, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University's 124th Commencement took place at the XL Center in Hartford on May 13.
In all, 1,162 undergraduates and 65 graduate students earned their degrees.
• Per Bjornstad of Darien, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science
Nicholas Lawson, director of field human resources for Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa during the Commencement Exercises, and offered remarks following presentation of his honorary degree.
Lawson spoke of the organization's core principles of service, independence, impartiality, neutrality, ethics and engagement, and described his early years with MSF, when he faced the challenge of bringing medical supplies to civilians in Afghanistan caught in the crossfire of that nation's civil war.
Other speakers at the Commencement Exercises included Eastern President Elsa Nunez; Catherine Smith, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, who represented the Board of Regents for Higher Education; Senior Class President Zachary Yeager; and Brittany Lane '14, who delivered the Senior Class Address. Other members of the platform party included Gregory Gray, president of the Board of Regents; Willimantic Mayor Ernie Eldridge; and other Eastern officials.
Eastern Connecticut State University is the state's public liberal arts university and serves approximately 5,400 students each year on its Willimantic campus and at satellite locations. A predominantly residential campus, Eastern offers more than 30 majors and 50 minors while emphasizing a strong liberal arts foundation grounded in applied learning experiences.