Basking in the support and admiration of family, colleagues, faculty, and the classmates with whom they shared the last few years of their education, 1,999 Salem State students celebrated the end of this phase of their journey at our 205th commencement ceremonies. The 466 students who received graduate degrees on May 14 were joined by close to 1,600 undergraduate degree recipients at two ceremonies on May 16.
Our university’s newest alumni—who have mastered subject matter in disciplines as diverse as business administration, education, geo-information science, organizational psychology, and social work—now go out into the work force or on to more advanced degrees. Armed with the skills their liberal arts education has provided them, they do so with confidence and are well-prepared to assume leadership positions in their chosen fields.
Honoring student achievement
In ceremonies at the Massachusetts State House on May 14, graduating senior Heidi Shannon was honored as one of the commonwealth’s ’29 Who Shine.’ For the fifth year, Massachusetts’ Department of Higher Education honored one outstanding student from each of the state’s 29 public campuses based on academic achievement, leadership skills and community engagement. Salem State is delighted that communications major Heidi Shannon, a newly minted alumna, was chosen as its honoree. Indicative of her engagement on behalf of others, Heidi left for earthquake-ravaged Nepal to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse just one day after graduation.
In award ceremonies closer to home, we honored student inductees into a number of academic honor societies, bestowed Silver Key and other special recognition awards and presented Salem State’s first Distinguished Teaching Awards to assistant professor Peter Sampieri (theatre and speech communications) and visiting professor of education Anne Ziergiebel. We are immensely proud of all.
Alumni reunion weekend a huge success!
This year’s alumni reunion theme, “Rediscover Your Reason,” was a nod to our ongoing 10,000 Reasons campaign. It was a great way to get us all thinking about the many ways Salem State has touched our lives. There were many wonderful highlights from this weekend including the Party on the Plaza and the celebration in honor Timothy P. Shea '83G, who is retiring after 34 years at the university as an academic advisor, coach and administrator. Shea led the women's basketball team to a combined 38 championships, including directing the Lady Vikings to the university's first national championship in the 1985-86 season.
Series welcomes Tom Brady
Major excitement came to Salem State on May 7 with the appearance of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as our guest speaker for the Salem State Series. The event sold out in less than half an hour; media called from across the country and around the world, hoping to secure one of only 20 available press passes; and a capacity crowd of 4,000 was enthralled by Mister Brady and his interviewer, renowned sports journalist Jim Gray.
The big winner was our own university, for Salem State was front and center in TV and radio broadcasts throughout America, and mentioned prominently in newspapers from The New York Times to the Merced Sun-Star to papers in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe.
Please visit us on campus
If you or someone you know is thinking of applying to Salem State or transferring in from another institution, may we suggest you consider visiting the campus at some point over the summer? It’s a wonderful opportunity to tour our campus, learn about the academic and extracurricular programs available and explore historic Salem and surrounding sites with your families.
Summer campus tours are offered through August 15. All tours are led by student ambassadors, who will answer your questions about what it’s like to be a student at Salem State University. Tours leave from the admissions office, located in the Enterprise Center on Central Campus, 71 Loring Avenue.
Patricia Maguire Meservey