May 9th marked a new chapter for Anna Maria College as the institution celebrated its 2022 Commencement Ceremony at the DCU Center in Worcester. The new and larger venue held nearly 300 graduates and 3,500 guests while still retaining Anna Maria’s sense of a tight-knit community.  

Commencement began with a rendition of the National Anthem performed by Krystal J. Melendez ‘22, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Therapy.  

Anna Maria College’s 11th president, Mary Lou Retelle, recognized the graduates’ accomplishments while highlighting the College’s values and the social impact alumni have on their communities.  

“We look for solutions that advance the common good. We respond to the call to serve. We incorporate service into everything we do – in academics, athletics, clubs, activities, and faith ministries. Think about this past year and you will find each value has been tested, debated, embraced, and influenced our decisions. You have been involved in these values and you are better for it,” Retelle told the Class of 2022. 

Student Speaker, Dream Whitaker ’22 personified Anna Maria’s commitment to nurturing and educating well-rounded students who will be impactful future leaders. A graduate who double-majored in Forensic Criminology and Law and Society, Whitaker will be attending law school at UMass Dartmouth. She spoke about the role that faith played in applying for Anna Maria and how four years later she developed friendships and bonds that will last a lifetime.  

“My Mimi always said to me ‘carry yourself like someone is watching, because they just might be.’ I say that because I’ve witnessed first-hand how every professor faculty member at Anna Maria takes the time to get to know every student. We were never another face or just a number. I can walk away from my time here at Anna Maria knowing that I was able to play a small, but active role in building the Anna Maria community that has given me so much,” Whitaker said.  

John and Cynthia Monahan from Worcester were named this year’s honorary degree recipients for their work in work in public safety and their dutiful spiritual support of the Catholic Church and the Christian community. 

Anna Maria College recognized three graduates who achieved superlatives in academics, community, and service to others.  

Nursing major and Honor’s Program graduate Peter Walsh ‘22 was awarded the Bishop Timothy J. Harrington Award for compassionate service towards others and for promoting peace. The Sr. Yvette Bellerose Award was presented to Ashley Garcia ‘22 for embodying Anna Maria’s values and serving as a role model to other students. The Dr. Bernadette Madore Award for Academic Excellence was bestowed upon Noah Morning ‘22, who completed a Bachelor of Science degree in both Criminal Justice & Forensic Criminology with a cumulative GPA of 4.0.   

The Baccalaureate Mass, Hooding ceremony for the senior class, Pinning ceremonies for Nursing and Social Work graduates, and a champagne brunch for families were held on campus the previous day.  

Congratulations Class of 2022! 

Click the Telegram and Gazette link here for local news coverage of Anna Maria College’s 73rd Commencement.  

A small gallery of photos can be viewed below. Stay tuned for the full collection of photos and videos in the coming days.