Monday, August 15, 2011

bringing us joy

"Today brings us much joy!" UAC-CP president Msgr. Juan Vargas told students, faculty, and family and friends gathered last Friday for the 2011 Nursing Department graduation.  Bishop Vargas explained that it's a notable moment when the College community can celebrate the acheivements of UAC-CP graduates. "Today," he said, "we are proud that you will now go out and serve the people of Bolivia in the spirit of the mission of the College."

UAC-CP Nursing graduate Sonia Soto Silicuani is pictured with her parents following the graduation ceremony in Carmen Pampa last Friday.

Last Friday was one of the moments when we are reminded of why we are here, when we can see and celebrate the fruits of our labor.  Sitting in the front row of the church, my camera in hand, I watched as young men and women from the Nursing Department received their pins (and, for the women, their caps). For me, it was a particularly proud moment, as most of the graduates I recognized as first year students from my time at the College as a volunteer eight years ago. 

With tears in his eyes, graduate Paulino Siquita Ramos hugs a well-wisher following graduation ceremonies for the UAC-CP Nursing Department.

Like any other graduation ceremony, several different representatives of the College and the Nursing Department spoke about the significance of what it means to be a graduate of the UAC-CP. "We expect that you will go out and serve your people," Bishop Vargas reminded graduates. "Never forget that being a nurse isn't just about administering medicine. It's also about service--treating people with dignity and respect.  In fact," he added, "that will be perhaps one of the most important parts of your work."

Nursing graduate Paulino Siquita Ramos (pictured above) spoke on behalf of the graduating class. "First, I thank God; I thank God for having given the idea to start a college for young people who have no other options to go to college. And," he continued, "I thank Sr. Damon for her initiative to make this idea a reality."  He went on to thank all the people who made that moment, of graduating from college, possible for him and his classmates.  He remembered UAC-CP faculty and staff, classmates, volunteers, and donors.  And, in particular, he asked the crowd for a round of applause to thank the families of UAC-CP students. The church erupted with joy.

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