Class of 2022 Asked to ʻExcel at Caringʼ

Faculty speaker David von Schlichten, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Religious Studies, brought his Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton socks and singing voice to address the Class of 2022 during the May Undergraduate Commencement ceremony.

This year 347 students received undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates during two ceremonies on May 7.

Von Schilchten was selected by the class to offer remarks on behalf of the faculty.

“We are called to always excel at caring for one another, caring for the common good and caring for creation,” he began.

“Mother Seton was a genius at caring,” von Schlichten said. “Mother Seton saw the humanity in others... she saw God in others. She performed countless unglamorous, unflashy works and acts of care that Mother Aloysia Lowe and the Sisters have continued and that has been entrusted to you.”

He shared two truths that he said helped guide him in his journey to care for others: “we are all human beings” and “caring is almost never flashy.”

“Excelling at caring is difficult, but you can do it,” von Schlichten said. “I know Seton Hill students, you never cease to amaze me... You are fit to transform the world. Despite lifeʼs many hazards... you will move forward.”

Brianna Leith, president of the Class of 2022, who, in her freshman year, began posting positive notes on a bulletin board on the second floor of Maura Hall that campus community members could share with one another, offered memories both from her own time at Seton Hill and the thoughts of her classmates during her farewell address.

 “I thought this moment would be one of the happiest days of our lives. However, for me, this is one of the most bittersweet,” Leith said. “I have found my family, my home away from home that will forever make me smile.”

At the conclusion of von Schlichtenʼs speech – during which he sang parts of the Alma Mater – he prompted the graduates to challenge themselves, while reminding them that they have support while they pursue their dreams.

“As you excel at caring, be sure to care for yourself and allow others to care for you,” von Schlichten said. “We at Seton Hill care for you, Class of 2022. As you think back to who youʼve been and look ahead to who you are, remember we are always here.”