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Comfortable ritual

Comfortable ritual

Staff July 25, 2022

Engineers and English majors, teachers and accountants, sharing smiles and straightening each other’s mortar boards — it’s the way graduation was meant to be. After two years of commencement ceremonies delayed or stripped down to tiny affairs with limited attendance, the Class of 2022 resumed programming as usual in a UD Arena filled with families and all undergraduates taking to the floor together. 

During the ceremonies — May 8 for undergraduates, May 7 for master’s and doctoral students and those from the School of Law — UD conferred approximately 2,050 degrees, including a record of approximately 1,552 undergraduate degrees, just fewer than last year’s mark of 1,582.

“Your class has navigated through adversity with resilience, grace and genuine care for each other, and I could not be more proud of you,” President Eric F. Spina said at the undergraduate ceremony. 

They also excelled.  

UD ROTC Cadet Battalion Commander Rachel VerDow, who graduated with a degree in international studies, ranks 20th nationally among approximately 5,700 ROTC cadets who were commissioned this spring. The ranking is based on overall academic GPA, military science GPA and leadership evaluations, according to the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

“It’s very rewarding to hear that number, but I also know this program has completely prepared me to reach that,” she said of the recognition. She is one of four cadets in the Fighting Flyer Battalion to rank among the top 100 nationwide in this year’s class. 


Among those recognized during commencement was an alumna back on campus to receive a special honor.  

“Our Marianist tradition transcends the test of time. This transformative education in the Marianist tradition will be part of you for the rest of your life.” 

Lori Hinnenkamp Beer, a 1989 computer science graduate, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science for demonstrating values-based leadership in positions of significant influence. Beer is global chief information officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co. As part of her efforts to inspire, motivate and support women and members of underrepresented groups in STEM fields, she and her husband, Bill Beer ’88, established a UD scholarship for a Flyer Promise student pursuing a degree in engineering or another technology field.

Mary Boosalis, chair of the University’s board of trustees, thanked all the families in attendance for their support of the new graduates, adding that having commencement on Mother’s Day weekend is a special gift to all the moms. 

She also spoke of the gift of a Marianist education. 

“Our Marianist tradition transcends the test of time,” she said. “This transformative education in the Marianist tradition will be part of you for the rest of your life. 

“Please, always remember that wherever life takes you, you are now and forever part of the University of Dayton family.”


Celebration of community