Curry College celebrated its Commencement on Sunday, May 17, 2015 in Milton, Massachusetts, at the D. Forbes Will Athletic Complex.
Mike Sheehan, CEO of The Boston Globe, served as Commencement speaker and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree.
In his citation from the podium, Curry College President Kenneth K. Quigley, Jr. lauded Sheehan for his career success and his humanitarian impact through work with The One Fund Boston, providing a powerful example to the Curry College community.
"You demonstrate to our graduates that they can write pages of their life story, that a career has many chapters...and that so many good things are possible with the right combination of ambition, hard work, and, above all - the right attitude, filled with optimism," said Quigley.
In his address to graduates culminating in a standing ovation, Sheehan spoke about values that were important to him and the value of being true to oneself.
"If you remember a single thing from my remarks this morning - and trust me, you probably won't - it is my wish that you continue to go through life being yourself, comfortable in your own skin, defining success on your terms, laying your head on your pillow each night feeling good about who you are," said Sheehan.
The longtime advertising executive advised graduates to do so, even in the face of constant media influences.
"Just because you feel pressure from mass media, social media, and so-called role models of pop culture to think, eat, drink, dress, and behave in a particular way, there is much success and great satisfaction in simply being yourself."
Sheehan reflected on the people in his life who influenced him the most, including his "first boss," his grandfather, who taught him the value of hard work; his grandmother, who taught him financial responsibility; and his mother, who instilled in him the importance of integrity.
With a mix of humor and humility, Sheehan's speech also paid homage to first-year Curry student newspaper reporter Matthew Weddleton who had interviewed Sheehan for the student newspaper, the Currier Times, and to the admission essays of the Class of 2015, in which then prospective students told their stories of people who had a significant influence on their lives.
"The best role models aren't necessarily professional athletes or business leaders or politicians or pop culture phenomenons," said Sheehan. "The best role models are the folks who are here with you today. They're your parents, your grandparents, your siblings. An aunt or uncle, perhaps a cousin or a good friend. They have already given you everything you need to be successful in life, which are your values."
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