Edward A. Bond, Jr.
Board of Trustees
New England College
Good morning. I would also like to extend my welcome to you all on behalf of the Board of Trustees of New England College. Today represents my last public role as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. It has been an honor to serve the College and I will continue to play a role on the Board of Trustees and to remain involved with this great institution in any way that I can. Let me take one moment to introduce the next Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Jim Murtha, the new Vice Chairman, John Samenfeld, and the new Secretary, Lex Scourby.
I graduated from New England College in 1978 and walked across a stage very much like this one to shake the president’s hand and receive my diploma. I remember the overwhelming sense of accomplishment that I felt at the time and the many hopes and dreams I had for the future. I believe that you all are experiencing that same pride today and the same joy and perhaps even a bit of relief that all the hard work and long hours that you put in have resulted in your academic success. For that you have my warmest congratulations.
As you receive your diploma today, you join the ranks of over 13,000 alumni of New England College and you share in common with them their sense of accomplishment and their desire to make their mark in the world. You are now in the company of some truly gifted alumni of New England College.
People like Carol Leonard who graduated in 1977. Carol literally wrote the book on the practice of mid-wifery. She is an internationally recognized expert on the subject and has delivered nearly 1,200 babies. As co-founder of the Midwives Alliance of North America, she has dedicated her career to sharing her skills around the world.
An alum from the Class of 1986 is an Indy race car driver and team owner, Robbie Buhl. Robbie won his first race by 0.064 seconds. Perhaps even less time than the blink of an eye. As a team owner, Robbie defied the odds in 2000 by moving up from 22nd position to win the season opener at Walt Disney World Speedway.
For those of you in the field of education, you may know the name of Harriet Sanford who graduated from New England College in 1974. Harriet is the President and CEO of the National Education Association Foundation in Washington. As an accomplished fundraiser she raised an average of ten million dollars a year over a four-year period. She currently serves as the Chair of the NAMES Quilt Board that honors those who have lost their lives to HIV-AIDS. The quilt now weighs in at a staggering 54 tons.
A 2006 graduate of our masters degree program in non-profit leadership, Joshua Boynton was so moved by the needs of those with developmental disabilities and the elderly, that he founded a company called LifeShare in Manchester, New Hampshire. LifeShare now provides community-based programming for more than 300 adults with developmental disabilities.
And there is Tom Chesney from the Class of 1974. Tom owns a successful special effects firm in Hollywood. His advice to those who want to break into the field…you have to know how to blow things up!
Helen Keller is quoted as saying, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.”
To the New England College Class of 2009, please know that we here today are exceedingly proud of your accomplishments and we honor the work that you will do in the future. Whether it is bringing new life into the world, recognizing those who have succumbed to what remains an incurable illness, serving the underserved, or entertaining us on the big screen, as graduates of New England College your contributions to the world around you will surely be great and noble.
Congratulations Class of 2009.