Rhode Island Residents Graduate from Nichols College
DUDLEY, Mass. (05/23/2018) — At their May 5, 2018, graduation from Nichols College, 499 students in the Class of 2018 were advised by one of their own (who just happened to be a famous Hollywood movie producer) to never let fear stand in their way of pursuing their dreams.
"You are all about to start new journeys into the real world, and although it sure is exciting, it can also be quite daunting," Louis A. Stroller -- a 1963 Nichols graduate whose movie credits include "Scarface" and "Carlito's Way" -- told the students in his Commencement address. "I want all of you to remember this saying -- 'Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is.'-when you're going for your first job interview, or when you're about to take a risk, or when you're scared to reach for your dream. I hope, if years from now you don't remember a single word from my speech today, you just remember that phrase and let that serve as your reminder to chase whatever dreams you have. I would not be standing here in front of all of you today if I didn't take this same advice."
Undergraduate and graduate students, their families and friends, faculty and staff, trustees, and other special guests were on hand at the Commencement ceremony, held at the DCU Center in Worcester, to experience the inspirational messages delivered by keynote speaker Stroller, Nichols College President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Ph.D.; undergraduate valedictorian Haroutiun C. Sarkisian'18, senior class speaker Isabella Sansone '18, and graduate student speaker Jaquelene Kelly MBA '18. (This was the first year that a graduate student was invited to deliver an address at a Nichols College Commencement.)
During the ceremony, 304 Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees; 27 Bachelor of Arts degrees; four Associate in Business Administration degrees; two Dual BA/BSBA; and 162 graduate degrees (Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accounting, Master of Science in Organizational Leadership; and, for the first time, Master of Science in Counterterrorism) were awarded.
President Engelkemeyer offered the graduates a piece of advice: "Waste no time in carving out those moments to do the things that make you truly happy. That may or may not be related to your job. If it's not, it's even more important because that's how you will find additional strength to deal with the ups and downs and disappointments that will inevitably come your way. And it will help you grow your leadership skills. I call it 'leadership lessons from the other side of life.'
"Your Nichols education has equipped you with the tools you need to be a leader," she added. "Now you need to add some inspiration, perspiration, and determination that comes from your other side to be successful throughout life's journey."
AN ALUM'S WORDS OF WISDOM
Since graduating from Nichols, Stroller became a successful Hollywood film producer. He has been an assistant director, production manager, and producer on more than 40 films, working with some of Hollywood's most renowned actors, including Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, Al Pacino, Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, and Sissy Spacek. His notable list of film credits also includes "The Bone Collector,""Snake Eyes,""The Rock," "Carrie," and "Sea of Love."
Before he got into TV and movies, Stroller first graduated from Nichols College. He told the audience how instrumental Nichols was in providing him with the tools he needed to achieve his goals.
"Nichols was a dream come true for me," said Stroller. "Nichols prepared me for what life had to offer. Never when I was attending Nichols did I think that I would have to put my knowledge to work in different parts of the world. Nichols College gave me a foundation to build upon. It gave me the wherewithal to make movies with budgets from $350,000 to $200 million, and bring these pictures home, for the most part, on schedule and on budget. Not only that, Nichols also gave me the knowledge and confidence to deal with whatever life threw at me. This was due in part to the small, intimate atmosphere. It was also due to the professors who would give me that extra special attention and help that I needed to succeed."
During the ceremony, honorary degrees were conferred upon Stroller (Doctorate of Communications and Media) as well as two other distinguished individuals: recently retired CEO of W.E. Aubuchon Co. Inc. M. Marcus Moran Jr. '66 (Doctorate of Business Administration) of Westminster, Mass.; and local humanitarian and philanthropist Marilyn Fels (Doctorate of Humane Letters) of Webster, Mass.
2018 GRADUATES OF NICHOLS COLLEGE
ABA: Associate of Business Administration
BA: Bachelor of Arts
BSBA: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
MBA: Master of Business Administration
MSA: Master of Science in Accounting
MSC: Master of Science in Counterterrorism
MSOL: Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
BRISTOL, R.I.: Jason A. Ferro graduated with a BSBA, magna cum laude.
COVENTRY, R.I.: Michael T. Nolan graduated with a BSBA, cum laude. Melissa L. Janes graduated with MBA and MSOL degrees. Kelly N. Pelletier graduated with an MSA.
CRANSTON, R.I.: Kyle Whitney graduated with a BSBA.
CUMBERLAND, R.I.: Annemarie Ottaviani graduated with a BSBA.
HARRISVILLE, R.I.: Brian M. Labossiere graduated with an MBA.
HOPE, R.I.: Ryan G. Dulieu graduated with a BSBA. Scott P. Lynch graduated with a BSBA, cum laude.
JOHNSTON, R.I.: John A. Gesualdi Jr. graduated with a BSBA.
LINCOLN, R.I.: Shanlee M. Crowell graduated with a BSBA, summa cum laude.
MANVILLE, R.I.: Elizabeth M. Gagnon graduated with a BSBA, cum laude.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I.: Gregory Gardner Eng graduated with a BSBA, cum laude.
NORTH SCITUATE, R.I.: Jared C. Thompson graduated with a BSBA.
NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I.: Matthew Vincent Marcantonio graduated with a BSBA, summa cum laude.
PASCOAG, R.I.: Andrew R. Carlson graduated with a BSBA, cum laude. Helen H. Lopez graduated with a BSBA.
PAWTUCKET, R.I.: Deandra Flynn graduated with a BA.
RIVERSIDE, R.I.: Benjamin R. Duarte graduated with a BSBA.
WEST GREENWICH, R.I.: Michael L. Ruzzo graduated with a BSBA.