Hope Landry, a resident of Burlington, MA, was among more than 1,080 students from Roger Williams University to receive their degree during the University's Commencement ceremony held on May 18, 2013.
Landry received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
On a day that boasted bright sunshine and an abundantly agreeable 68 degrees on the thermometer along the bayside campus in Bristol, R.I., approximately 6,000 people turned out under the big tent to watch graduates cross the stage. The ceremony was highlighted by a Commencement address from author and historian John M. Barry.
Selected as the university's Commencement speaker as the State prepared to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Rhode Island Colonial Charter over the summer, Barry promised in his opening to avoid the traditional, formulaic approach to graduation send-offs. He proceeded to invoke the ideas of Roger Williams – as well as other notable revolutionaries Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs – to remind the graduates that talent and hard work are not enough to be competitive in the world they are about to enter. Rather, he told them that the key to success lies in doing work that is important, inspiring and history-making.
"This is your time. The next years are your time. You need to do something that allows the fire in your heart to keep blazing," John M. Barry said. "As a historian, I can tell you that it is not inevitable that the world becomes as you find it. History does not happen. People make history. You can make history."
About RWU: Roger Williams University, located in Bristol, R.I., is a leading independent, coeducational university with programs in the liberal arts and the professions, where students become community- and globally-minded citizens through project-based, experiential learning. Offering 43 majors and a plethora of co-curricular activities as well as study abroad options, RWU is dedicated to the success of students, commitment to a set of core values, the pursuit of affordable excellence and to providing a relevant, world-class education above all else. In the last decade, the University has achieved unprecedented successes including recognition as one of the best colleges in the nation by Forbes, a College of Distinction by Student Horizons, Inc. and as both a best college in the Northeast and one of the nation's greenest universities by The Princeton Review.