Seton Hill motto especially poignant at graduation
Seton Hill University's motto, “Hazard yet forward,” is especially meaningful as the school heals from a fatal bus crash in March, said commencement speaker Haley Scott DeMaria.
“The hazard we can't control. The forward we can,” DeMaria said on Saturday to a packed gymnasium in Seton Hill's Katherine Mabis McKenna Center. Nearly 200 degrees and certificates were conferred during the Catholic university's 95th commencement.
DeMaria, 39, survived a fatal bus crash in January 1992 as a freshman swimmer with the University of Notre Dame's swim team. DeMaria, who was initially paralyzed from the waist down, underwent multiple surgeries, and eventually was able to walk again and rejoin the swim team.
“Each of us can wake up tomorrow and find something negative in our lives on which to focus or each of us can also wake up tomorrow and focus on and celebrate the blessings in our lives,” DeMaria said. “This is our choice, and we have the power to choose this every day. Hazard yet forward: The hazards will always be a part of life.”
DeMaria reached out to Seton Hill to offer support after its women's lacrosse team's bus crashed along the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Carlisle headed to a game on March 16, injuring several players and killing head coach Kristina Quigley, 30; her unborn son, Jackson; and bus driver Anthony Guaetta, 61, of Johnstown.
Several team members graduated, including student manager Nadine Wallace, who made her way across the stage with a cane to resounding cheers.
Soccer player Paul Cornelius, 22, of Ontario, Canada, said the bus crash had a profound impact on the whole campus, but especially on athletes because “it could have happened to any of us.”
“(DeMaria) was probably the ideal speaker for this moment, for what our community was facing for the last two months of school,” said Cornelius, senior class treasurer.
DeMaria and golf legend Arnold Palmer, a Latrobe native, were each awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
“You are a man of virtue, an athlete of grace and accomplishment, a citizen whose life works have enriched beyond measure the lives of the world around him,” said Michele Ridge, chair of Seton Hill's board of trustees.
Dr. E. Ronald Salvitti, an innovator in eye surgery, was awarded an honorary doctorate of science for contributions he and his late wife, Seton Hill alumna Constance Angotti Salvitti, made to the school.
The Salvitti Gymnasium, where commencement was held, is named in their honor, and their donations helped build Seton Hill's physician assistant program.
Saturday marked President JoAnne Boyle's last graduation as head of the university, a post she's held since 1987. She will retire June 30, or when a successor is named.
She was named professor of the year at an awards ceremony on Friday. The City of Greensburg declared it Dr. JoAnne Woodyard Boyle Day.
Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Kari Andren to your Google+ circles.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Westmoreland Veterans’ Monument unveiled, rededicated in Greensburg
- Theft thwarted by employee at North Huntingdon Wal-Mart
- Foes of South Huntingdon gas-fired plant fight approval
- Acme man’s ephemeral sculptures appear to defy laws of physics
- Man taken to hospital after New Alexandria house burns
- A family’s flag flies again in Mt. Pleasant
- Online donors help Hempfield teen whose wallet was stolen
- Hempfield train crash search called off; no evidence found
- Westmoreland used car dealers indicted in fraud
- ‘Dope sick’ man in custody in Mt. Pleasant stick-up
- Motorcyclist killed after striking pole in Penn Township