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University of Saint Joseph Celebrates 84th Commencement Ceremony

Kylie Hoang of West Hartford speaks at the University of Saint Joseph commencement ceremony at the XL Center in Hartford on Monday, May 13, 2019. Photo credit: Richard Messina (Courtesy of USJ)

West Hartford resident Kylie Hoang was a member of the inaugural class of Physician Assistants who graduated from the University of Saint Joseph this year.

University of Saint Joseph commencement. May 13, 2019. Photo credit: Richard Messina (courtesy of USJ)


On May 13, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) held its 84th commencement ceremony at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.

Family and friends gathered in the audience as USJ awarded 235 bachelor’s degrees, 500 master’s degrees, and more than 80 doctoral degrees.

Among the graduates this year was the inaugural class of USJ’s Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program, which began at the West Hartford campus in January 2017. From this first class, Kylie Hoang, M’19, was selected to offer her remarks after a rigorous two-and-a-half-year program.

Jennifer Cote. Courtesy photo

“At the University of Saint Joseph, from day one, we are taught the fundamental values of kindness and service to others. No matter which field you ultimately pursue and what path you take next in life, remember that we all have the power and ability to help others in even the smallest ways.” 

The University recognized professors who have made profound impacts on the campus community, presenting the Reverend John J. Stack Teaching Excellence Award to Jennifer Cote, Ph.D., associate professor of History, for her outstanding work in the classroom, and the Sister Mary Ellen Murphy Scholarship Award to Elijah Nealy, Ph.D., assistant professor of Social Work and Equitable Community Practice, for his recent publications.  

Elijah Nealy. Courtesy photo

With the flipping of the tassel, graduates exited the ceremony and entered their futures with President Rhona Free’s address still ringing in their ears: “As a University of Saint Joseph student, you have been encouraged to be compassionate and respectful, to act with integrity and to serve others, to welcome differences and cultivate relationships of mutual respect,” shared Free. “As you leave the University, whatever you do for work, in your community, and for your family, we hope you take those values with you.”

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