Landmark College Ushers in 60 New Graduates
By Solvegi Shmulsky
Putney, VT — On a brilliant, sunny day in Putney, Vermont, the Click Family Sports Center filled with smiling family, friends, faculty, and staff to honor 60 new graduates from Landmark College. Families came from across the U.S. as well as Canada, South America and Europe to celebrate a turning-point achievement—earning a college degree—in the lives of their daughters, sons, brothers, and sisters.
To begin the ceremony, Dean of Students Michael Luciani acknowledged the importance of ceremonial events like graduation, but reminded students that their character has been built steadily over time. He said, “Our strength has not been given to us on this day, but rather born in past moments of adversity and perseverance. Every moment like this has made us—and made us strong.”
Graduate speeches are a distinctive and much anticipated feature of the Landmark College ceremony. Students approach the podium charged with excitement, joy, relief, and sometimes sweet sadness as they say thank you to those who helped them and offer words of advice to fellow graduates. This year, themes of perseverance, growth, hard-won success, and strength coursed through their words.
Many graduating students, who came to Landmark College because they learn differently, described being “finished” with education before they started. In the words of two students who now hold Associate of Arts degree in general studies, “I didn’t even think I would go to college,” and “I thought college would crush me.” Resolved to work hard and willing to keep trying, students like these found academic strength. Countless messages like, “I’ve changed so much. I’ve learned that you can always succeed if you work for it,” and, “I’ve grown into a beautiful person” drew applause from the audience.
Dr. Peter Eden, President of Landmark College, encouraged graduates to dive into diverse experiences, trying activities and choices that they may not have considered before. Dr. Eden said, “In the words of Henry David Thoreau, ‘How vain it is to sit down and write when you have not stood up to live.’ You are on the stage because you have accomplished so much. Now put down those pens, iPhones—stop texting—and live. You have shown that you have the determination, the will to succeed, the agile use of your minds that college graduates must possess and employ to solve problems. You can solve lots of problems, but remember to live, to do well, to do good.”
After degrees were conferred, the 60 new grads were met by roaring, lasting applause that filled the hall. Graduates who, in the words of Dr. Eden, “emerged emboldened by new strategies, skills, and self-confidence,” exited the stage to a packed reception to meet the many supporters sharing in their success.
2013 Spring and Summer Graduates
Associate of Arts in General Studies
Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies
Associate of Arts in Business Administration
Associate of Arts in Business Studies
Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today Landmark College, offering two and four-year degree options, and summer programs for high school students and students visiting from other colleges, is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with learning disabilities, ADHD, and ASD. Students, faculty, and other professionals from all over the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model, one designed through research and practice to help all students who learn differently become confident, self-empowered, and independently successful learners.