Beacons of Light: Pinning Ceremony Celebrates 26th Graduating Class
What inspires a person to choose a life of helping others, of inspiring hope to those in despair, of being a shining light in someone’s darkest hour? Why become a nurse? In an evening ceremony on December 19, 2013, in the presence of their families and friends, the 53 members of Goodwin College’s 26th Nursing program graduating class had the opportunity to consider those questions as they prepared for the long-awaited moment when they would receive their nursing pins.
Preceding the entrance of the graduates, the near-capacity audience was treated to a student-produced video set to Bruno Mars’ “You Can Count On Me,” highlighting special moments from Goodwin’s Nursing program. One poignant image captured several students in front of a banner bearing a quote from B.B. King: “The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” This cued the procession of the graduates down the center aisle amidst the cheers and tears of their loved ones and their teachers. At the podium, Nursing Program Chair and the ceremony’s host Jan Costello, MSN, RN, set the celebratory tone of the evening. College Provost Ann Clark extended her best wishes, noting the number of men among this particular graduating class. Dr. Maria Ellis, who not only helps guide the College as Chair of the Board of Trustees but who also has become an integral part of the Nursing program by allowing students to shadow her in her work in obstetrics and gynecology, added her congratulations.
Costello acknowledged the Goodwin Nursing faculty members for guiding their students with such care, then praised the parents, children, spouses, and significant others of the graduates, thanking them for all the “meals prepared, laundry done” and the countless other tasks that had allowed the nursing students to focus on their studies.
Shavonne Overton, representing the Goodwin College Student Nursing Association, acknowledged three graduates who have provided special leadership in their time at Goodwin: Kimberly Itsou, Carla Simeone, and Sherry-Ann Williams.
For several months this year, Goodwin was graced with the presence of two nursing colleagues from Ghana: Marcelina Kwose and Mary Salaam. As they were called up from the audience for well-deserved recognition, Costello awarded them Goodwin College nursing pins to remind them of their experience in the U.S. and of the friends they leave behind as they return to Ghana.
The awarding of the nursing pins provided particularly warm — and sometimes humorous — moments to the evening. As the graduates crossed the stage to receive their pins from Costello, Nursing faculty member Pam Walker read aloud affirmations that had been prepared in advance by each student.
As the ceremony came to a close, Costello again addressed the graduates: “You are now nurses of Goodwin College. And you care for the whole patient.” The lights were lowered and, beginning with new graduate Jamie Mattos, white taper candles were lit and the entire class recited the International Council of Nurses pledge: “In full knowledge of the obligations I am undertaking, I promise to care for the sick, with all the skills and understanding I possess, without regard to race, creed, color, politics or social status, sparing no effort to conserve life, to alleviate suffering, and to promote health. I will respect at all times, the dignity and religious beliefs of the patients under my care, holding in confidence all personal information entrusted to me, and refraining from any action that might endanger life or health. I will endeavor to keep my professional knowledge and skill at the highest level, and to give loyal support and cooperation, to all members of the health team.”
Costello then sent her newest Nursing alumni out into a sea of congratulations from their families and teachers. The College community takes great pride in knowing that the world of health care will be better for these newest additions: sources of hope, beacons of light… nurses of Goodwin.