New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, a Daemen College graduate, welcomed more than 570 new students to the college at the 2016 Fall Convocation held on Sept. 8.
Offering the welcome on behalf of the Daemen College/Rosary Hill Alumni Association, Elia encouraged students to explore new opportunities and to take an active role in their education by engaging in experiences and activities outside the classroom.
“Life is a work in progress and new opportunities will allow you to improve and grow. As a student at Daemen, get involved on campus and be an active participant in the many community outreach efforts available at the college,” said Elia. “Keep an open mind because you never know where the future will take you, and enjoy this next chapter in your life.”
Quoting British entrepreneur Richard Branson, Elia added, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity and then you’re not sure you can do it, say yes, and then learn what you need to do later.”
Elia, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Daemen (formerly Rosary Hill College), also talked about her student years at the college and the positive impact it has had on her professionally and personally.
“During my junior year, I studied abroad for a semester in Oxford, England, which was an eye opening experience for me and it made a great difference in my life,” she said. “It is exciting to be back at my alma mater, where I received a strong foundation for what I’ve accomplished throughout my career in education.”
In his address at the campus-wide ceremony, Daemen President Gary A. Olson urged students to “refine your intellectual skills and to ask countless questions about yourself and the world around you. College is all about possibilities and opportunities. I encourage each of you to explore a wide variety of ideas, interests, friends, and activities. The next years will be among the most exciting of your life.”