New England College celebrated its largest graduating class at the school’s 77th commencement on Saturday. 950 undergraduate, graduate and online students received their degrees.
The private liberal arts school is the most diverse university in New Hampshire. Graduates this year hailed from 47 states and 16 countries.
Although it was a day of celebration, some students did have some mixed feelings on graduation day.
Gavin Devine, a student from Wisconsin, just earned a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and he already has student loans on his mind.
“What’s going on in my head is… I want a job,” said Devine. “So hopefully the degree I just got can get me a good job that can help me pay off some of the loans. It’s always in the back of your mind because it’s thousands of dollars for everybody here.”
Lila Sakurai, a fine arts student, is also on the job hunt. Originally from Japan, Sakurai is concerned with finding a job in order to stay in the United States. She is hopeful, but also understands the stakes.
“I’m an international student,” said Sakurai. “I only have two or three months to find a job so I can stay for the whole year, so I feel some limitations.”
Presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand was the commencement speaker at New England College’s graduation this Saturday.
The New York Senator spoke about her own journey after graduation and her pathway into public service. She cautioned graduates about the hard work ahead and left them with a piece of advice.
“I’m here to ask you only one question: How are you going to be brave? Bravery means making a choice… Choose to be brave as you find your voice and use it often and loudly. When others try to stifle it, raise it that much louder.”