Every May, La Salle’s campus fills with a sea of Explorers clad head-to-toe in caps and gowns, marching in unison in front of faculty, friends, and family for Commencement. With balloons overhead and fresh diplomas in hand, they gather to celebrate their years of hard work, dedication, and self-discovery for one unforgettable spring day.
While this scene looks the same year after year, the excitement never grows old. The mixture of pride, relief, and hope for the future fills the air with an energy that makes the campus of La Salle almost buzz. This is the moment each student—undergraduate and graduate, young and old—has worked toward. It marks the end of a defining chapter, opening unlimited doors for each Explorer’s future.
“Today is a day of firsts and a day of lasts for you,” Colleen Hanycz, Ph.D., University President, told the undergraduate Class of 2017 on May 21. “Enjoy every moment of it.”
These Explorers thrived during one of La Salle’s most transformative times in recent history, witnessing many changes—from curriculum and academics, to brand campaigns and campus revitalization projects. “You are La Salle,” she continued. “You have left your hand prints all over this campus. You have inspired and amazed us in so many ways. And while you are changed because of La Salle, be certain that La Salle will never be the same because of you. You will forever be Explorers.”
Hanycz also recognized what each master’s and doctoral student in the Class of 2017 brought to La Salle. “…You have all worked hard, hand-in-hand with our faculty,” she said. “In some cases becoming much more like colleagues to us than students, each one of you, our La Salle University Explorers.
Undergraduate Commcement Speaker, Jack DiMatteo, ’17, told the Class of 2017, “…As we celebrate a special class of graduates and a special University, we also answer a calling. A call to service in accordance with our faith. A call to be a community of helpers. A call to shine. So let’s get to work.”
Graduate Commencement Speaker, Hannah Datz, ’10, vice president of North America SAP Hybris, revisited La Salle where she stood as the undergraduate Commencement Speaker in 2010. She reminded her fellow Explorers to stay hungry and humble and use grit. “Grit is the desire to answer the unsolvable question… That is hunger. And that is Lasallian.”
Sports columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Mike Sielski, ’97, came full circle at La -Salle, giving his speech as the honorary doctoral degree recipient on the same stage he stood as Commencement Speaker during his undergraduate ceremony just 10 years prior.
“You have inspired and amazed us in so many ways. And while you are changed because of La Salle, be certain that La Salle will never be the same becaus e of you. You will forever be Explorers.”—COLLEEN HANYCZ, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT
Graduates were encouraged to share their hopes and dreams with us during our exciting #SetSalle social media campaign. From Fortune 500 CEOs to world-changing philanthropists, these students have their dreams set high and won’t settle for anything less—the mark of all true Explorers.
COMMENCEMENT BY THE NUMBERS
NUMBER OF NURSING MAJORS
CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJORS
MASTER OF EDUCATION GRADUATES
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING GRADUATES
MASTER OF ARTS IN EDUCATION GRADUATES
MASTER OF ARTS IN PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION GRADUATES