Exeter local graduates from east-coast university

Olga Perez-Rodriguez of Exeter places her tassel to the left of the grad cap for a master’s certificate she earned from Regis College

WESTON, MASS. – From the small town of Exeter to a nationally recognized university, Olga Perez-Rodriguez’s studies have proven successful after she earned herself a post master’s certificate in nursing.

On May 6, Perez-Rodriguez was one of over 1,300 students to earn a degree at Regis College, a private Catholic university in Weston, Massachusetts. All of the graduating degrees ranged from associate to doctoral levels, but Perez-Rodriguez was handed her post master’s certificate in nursing to be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

“It is now up to you to take what you have learned and leave this ceremony committed to bettering the world around us with your knowledge and compassion,” Regis College president Antionette Hays, PhD, RN said to the graduates.

According to a news release from Regis College, members of the 2023 graduating class celebrated their accomplishments with an inspirational commencement ceremony at the Leader Bank Pavilion in Boston. THe ceremony featured Amaka Ubaka, the anchor from the independent television station WHDH’s 7NEWS Today in New England. Ubaka delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree. Philanthropists Bill and Joyce Cummings also received honorary degrees.

Ubaka delivered the commencement address, saying that whether it’s through volunteering, activism or pursuing a career that aligns with their values, each graduate has the power to create positive change. She reminded graduates that life is a journey, not a destination; there will be ups and downs, twists and turns and unexpected surprises along the way. She told the accomplished students to embrace their journey and not be too hard on themselves if things don’t always pan out as expected.

“As you move forward, remember that your unique experiences and perspectives are what make you special. Embrace your rebel heart, pursue your passions, and don’t be afraid to take risks,” Ubaka said in her commencement address.

From Ubaka’s speech, the term “rebel hearts” was used by the late singer Harry Belafonte to encourage individuals to stand up for what they believe in, even if it goes against the norm.

Regis College is a co-ed university 12 miles west of Boston, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston. With over 3,200 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students enrolled on campus and in fully online graduate programs, Regis provides an academically rigorous education within the schools of nursing, arts and sciences, business and communication, and health sciences.

According to a news release from the college, Regis College educates the whole person. It prepares students to pursue excellence, become change agents in their own communities and serve and lead as advocates for a more just and compassionate global society.

“As the journey continues for each of you, I am confident in the future because you are in it,” Regie College president Hays said to the graduating class of 2023.

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