Graduation Day 2013
Graduation 2013 – My first as an Anselmian, and it was a glorious day! I have enjoyed the interactions I have had with our student-athletes and have admired your accomplishments in competition, in the classroom and in the Saint Anselm community, and reveled in watching you walk the platform today. As a father of two recent college grads, I can tell you that I know your parents, families and friends have as much joy, pride, sadness and love for you as I did for mine when they too took that walk last week. Give ‘em a hug and kiss – they deserve it too! It has been an amazing year in many ways. We have taken part in another Presidential election (U.S.), and a Saint Anselm Presidential search; you have endured SANDY, NEMO, seen the face of unbelievable evil in Connecticut, and some of you have had to face that evil, personally, in Boston. I am proud of the resolve and Anselmian spirit shown by all of you facing these times in your lives. The future is a bright one for you and Saint Anselm if you keep the fire of that Anselmian spirit burning throughout your life. I know that seeing how you face these experiences make me even more convinced that my decision to come here and become a part of this incredible community was the right one.
Earlier this spring we recognized the impressive individual accomplishments and performances of our student-athletes. Especially our team captains, MVP’s and SAAC members, as well as three- and four-year award winners within athletics. We also recognized those who earned conference, regional and national recognition, those who were inducted into the national student-athlete honor society and presented six student-athletes with our annual end-of-the-year awards.
Success came to Saint Anselm’s athletic teams in both expected and unexpected ways this past year, and that still continues. Part of that continued success meant the men’s lacrosse team was not able to be at the Athletic Excellence Awards night as they were on their way to Le Moyne for the first round game in the NE-10 Championship tourney. Let me apologize now – I will miss many of the accomplishments of the year below, but please know we are proud of the efforts of every Hawk this year – we just can’t list them all!! LET ME SUMMARIZE JUST A FEW OF THE MANY HIGHLIGHTS!
- Over 141 student-athletes named to the Saint Anselm Dean’s List (As of 5/17) – the most ever!
- 8 academic all-conference awards
- 9 National academic honors/awards
- 157 NE-10 Academic Awards
- 57 TOTAL conference weekly awards
- 42 TOTAL all-conference awards.
- 99 NE-10 Athletic Awards
- 18 regional end-of-the-year honors
- 2 national weekly honors
- 8 national end-of-the-year honors
- 13 National Athletic Awards
- Golf won the New England DII Golf Championship
- Men’s ice hockey won the NE-10 Championship for the fourth straight time and their eighth overall
- Women’s ice hockey won the ECAC Open Tourney Championship for the second straight year and their fifth overall
- Softball qualified for the NE-10 Championship tourney for the first time since 2008 and the second time since 2003, and hosted the first round game
- Women’s lacrosse qualified for the NE-10 Championship tourney for the fifth time and first since 2006
- Men’s Lacrosse earned a NE-10 Championship berth for second straight season
- Both the men’s and women’s ski teams qualified for the USCSA National Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho. The men's team placed sixth in the GS at nationals; the women's team placed fourth overall at Nationals, as well as top five in both the GS and SL: AND there were multiple All-American rankings.
- Men’s basketball won the NE-10 regular season title for first time since 1999 and hosted the NCAA DII East Region Tournament.
- SAAC Accomplishments:
1. Make-A-Wish Night and Halloween Pumpkins– Raised over $2000.00 for Make-A-Wish as part of SAAC’s annual efforts working with Make-A-Wish. Brought a Make-A-Wish Ambassador who is 10 years old to the Football Game on 10/23 to speak to the audience.
2. Thanksgiving Baskets – SAAC prepared and donated over 30 baskets on behalf of the student-athletes and athletics department.
3. Team Impact – 3 teams (Women’s Soccer, Men’s Ice Hockey, FB) are now working with children from Team Impact, & VB has enrolled to be matched.
- Over 154 Saint Anselm College student-athletes qualified as members of the NE-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll
- Men’s basketball head coach Keith Dickson became the 16th coach ever to win 500 games
- Women’s ice hockey senior, Rose Giarrusso, became the program’s all-time leader in both points and assists
- Men’s ice hockey senior, Tucker Mullin, received the prestigious BNY Mellon Hockey Humanitarian Award at the NCAA Frozen Four; the 2013 ECAC J. Thom Lawler Award; and the Saint Anselm 2013 Paul S. Coleman Service Leadership Award.
- Women’s basketball senior, Curran Leighton, scored her 1,000th career point
- Women’s ice hockey: Courtney Winters and Kathryn Picarello record their 100th career points
- Women’s lacrosse: Marissa Daly scored the 100th goal of her career as just a sophomore
- The men’s ski team earned its first team championship in program history.
- Saint Anselm had its first NCAA Post Graduate $7,500 Scholarship winner in women’s skier Caitlin Forbes
- Field hockey raised nearly $10,000 for the second straight year with its Corners for the Cure initiative
- Women’s and men’s ice hockey both raised money with their Pink in the Rink weekend
- AND THERE ARE MANY, MANY MORE!
All I can say is WOW! For our new alums, I know there are more great things to come as you venture forward with your new degree. Take that leap with the same enthusiasm, joy, belief, faith and work ethic that helped you succeed here and Saint Anselm College, and not only will you do well, as noted by our graduation speaker today, society too will benefit more than you can possibly know. I’m proud to have been able to get to know many of you this year and we all hope you come back to see us in the future. The Athletic Department honors your efforts. Remember, you weren’t alone in that effort – don’t forget to say thanks to your families and friends that helped you during your most difficult times and your coaches and athletics staff that I know work tirelessly to ensure that you have the best experience possible. That includes a sports medicine staff that puts in countless hours to make sure you stay healthy. Our athletic communications office, for the long hours promoting you and making sure you receive the recognition deserved. The equipment room staff for making sure you are well equipped and ready for competition. The administrative staff in the main office (Meg, Courtney, Donna, and Tyler) for providing the support for our coaches and department; you’ll never know how much they do! And all the other staff and students that make your practices and games possible throughout the year. It’s said, “it takes a village” – you could not have accomplished what you did this year, or the last 4-5, without everyone working together as a team and I wish to thank each of them personally at some time. They all deserve thanks and appreciation.
And now, on to the main event for our honored guests, now alums – your life! Good luck and God speed! For the rest of you – I look forward to seeing all of you back in August to build upon the great legacy laid down for you by the class of 2013! AND, speaking those great words from ELP once more, “Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends……”!
Dr. Kelly J Higgins
Director of Athletics