AUNE’s Commencement Speaker: Invest Time and Energy in the Things that Count

Sue Weller, director of administration for the Department of Environmental Studies, adjusts the hood for new grad John Peckham, MS ’13.

Consider your investments, Oran Hesterman, president and chief executive officer of Fair Food Network, advised the graduates at AUNE’s graduation on May 18. But it wasn’t money he was talking about.

He meant investments of time, passion, intellect, and focused energy!The returns on investment that really matter most are the ROIs that educate our children, cool the planet, provide biosecurity, care for the most vulnerable, and nurture democracy.

AUNE awarded degrees to 145 graduates and finishers at the ceremony held at Keene Middle School. President David A. Caruso, who is retiring after seven years at AUNE, welcomed the graduates and guests and awarded the diplomas. Six new PhDs were hooded, as well as Roxanna Wolfe, PsyD ’89, a member of AUNE’s board of trustees who wasn’t able to attend her commencement from the Department of Clinical Psychology in 1989.

Judith Jeremiah Karangi, MS ’13, and her baby son are congratulated by Julie Dickson, executive assistant to President David Caruso.

Hesterman, a long-time friend of Caruso, emphasized the importance of investing time and attention in discovering the purpose of our lives. As a successful executive at the nonprofit W.K. Kellogg Foundation, he was working with donors who wanted to fund a foundation for sustainable food systems. The year was 2008, and he was considering how to use all that money when the donors called him. Bernie has been arrested, they said. Bernie, of course, was white-collar fraudster Bernard Madoff. Their money was gone.

That fiasco forced Hesterman to answer a critical question: What is the universe asking me to do next? The answer led him to organize the Fair Food Network, a nonprofit that works for a fair and just food system.

Then he held up an heirloom apple, picked from a tree he had planted at a California commune forty years ago. This is the sweetest return on investment that I ever taste!My hope is that you understand the importance of the investment that you have made here at AUNE, and you’ll find as a sweet a return on those investments as I found in this apple.

Larry Stone, chair of the Antioch University Board of Governors; Charlton MacVeagh, vice chair of AUNE’s board of trustees, and Robert Bull, MS ’09, also spoke. Maisie Tyler Rinne, MS ’13, led the audience in the Sustainability and Social Justice Pledge.

Tom Burgess, MBA ’13, performed a song that he wrote; the Monadnock Brass Quintet also  provided music.

These degrees were awarded:

  • 113 master’s degrees in applied psychology, education, environmental studies, and management
  • 25 doctoral degrees (PsyD) in clinical psychology
  • Three doctoral degrees (PhD) in environmental studies
  • Three doctoral degrees (PhD) in marriage and family therapy
  • One certificate in post-master’s principal certification

For the 2012-2013 school year, 288 master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates will have been conferred on AUNE students.

Read coverage of Commencement by the Keene Sentinel and by  the Union Leader.

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