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Pittsburgh, May 17 – La Roche College hosted Commencement ceremonies for 274 graduates on May 4, 2002. The annual procession of graduating seniors took place in the Kerr Fitness and Sports Center. Patrick Connolly, instructor in the College’s Division of Design, served as class marshal.

This year’s featured speaker was Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, First Lady of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Queen Rania is the honorary chairperson of the College’s Board of Governors for the Pacem In Terris Institute. She has also received international recognition for her commitment to issues involving youth.

“Your education has given you wings. Now you are set to soar, searching out a new future of promise,” Rania told the graduates. “Each of you flies out into a waiting world, carrying with you great hopes – the hopes of families, of communities, of countries, of humankind.”

“In that ancient story of the flood shared by so many faiths, Noah’s dove carried an olive branch – a universal symbol of peace. It was his gift to those who waited for a sign of hope for a better world,” said Rania. “You, too, are carrying something on which many people depend – a branch of hope with three offshoots: knowledge, character and compassion.”

Rania received the degree of Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Monsignor William A. Kerr, president of La Roche College, who also addressed the graduates.

“Learning is a lifelong process. In this world full of challenges, it is important for you to be lifelong learners,” said Kerr. “Go out into the world and inspire somebody. If you do, you will make a difference.” <

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