Award-winning author Carlos Eire urges Class of 2015 to "never dare to stop daring"

UMass Dartmouth celebrates Class of 2015 College of Arts & Sciences

Today UMass Dartmouth held its Commencement Ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences. The University's College of Arts and Sciences is made up of 733 students (586 undergrads, 147 graduates). The ceremony was held in UMass Dartmouth's Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial Amphitheater. 

"Class of 2015 this is indeed a time to celebrate and honor all that you have accomplished and you should celebrate because this is a momentous day in your life, your family's life, and your community's life," UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman said. "This is also our time as a university community to say thank you for the opportunity that relatively few in the world have- the opportunity of a higher education. We are so fortunate to be among people devoted to lifelong learning, devoted to discovery, devoted to service, devoted to making the most out of our human potential." 

National Book Award Winner Dr. Carlos Eire received an honorary degree and offered the keynote address to the Class of 2015. Born in Havana, Carlos Eire was just 11 years old when he and his brother were among 14,000 children airlifted out of Castro's Cuba in the 1960s without their parents. His first memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana won the 2003 National Book Award and has been translated into more than a dozen languages--but has been banned in Cuba. His latest memoir, Learning to Die in Miami (2010), explores the exile experience. 

Dr. Eire received his PhD from Yale in 1979 and specializes in the social, intellectual, religious, and cultural history of late medieval and early modern Europe, with a strong focus on both the Protestant and Catholic Reformations; the history of popular piety; and the history of death. Before joining the Yale faculty in 1996, he taught at St. John's University in Minnesota and the University of Virginia, and was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton for two years. He is the author of War Against the Idols: The Reformation of Worship From Erasmus to Calvin (1986); From Madrid to Purgatory: The Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth Century Spain (1995); A Very Brief History of Eternity (2010); and co-author of Jews, Christians, Muslims: An Introduction to Monotheistic Religions (1997). A past president of the Society for Reformation Research, Carlos Eire is currently on the editorial board of the journal Church History and the publications committee of Yale University Press. 

"Love brought you here though you may not know it yet. Love is your lifetime assignment," said Dr. Eire. "Dear overachievers-get busy, dare to be enlightened, dare to be daring, dare to know, dare to offend those who need offending, dare to fail, dare to be great, dare to improve the world, dare to love, dare and dare again, and again, and again, and never dare to stop daring." 

Heather Fatcheric '15 delivered the student address at the ceremony. Heather was recognized on May 14 at the Massachusetts State House as one of "29 Who Shine" -- an elite group of students representing the Commonwealth's 29 public colleges and universities who have excelled in academic and civic pursuits. Heather Fatcheric has been a shining star during her time at UMass Dartmouth -- academically as a History major, and in numerous student leadership roles. Recently she served as one of only two Orientation Coordinators. 

Heather, from Princeton, Massachusetts, completed her bachelor's degree requirements in January, including an Honors Thesis with Professor Robin Robinson of the Department of Sociology & Anthropology. She is currently enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at UMass Dartmouth. Heather was a member of the women's field hockey team, an Iota Delta Nu sorority sister, a Peer Tutor at the Writing and Reading Center, an Orientation Leader, and a Greek Coordinator. She plans to teach History in the Massachusetts Public School System. 

"Class of 2015 - congratulations on making it here today," said Heather. "If there's anything you take from these four years and from our Commencement it's Winston Churchill's message that we can never, never give in. My biggest hope for each and every one of us is that we never give in to letting the issues of this world stop us from making it a better place." 

To watch the Commencement in its entirety, visit http://www.umassd.edu/commencement/watchonline/. UMass Dartmouth's 2014 Commencement is over three days with four ceremonies. This year's undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will take place May 15-18, 2015. The UMass Dartmouth Class of 2015 is made up of 1,923 (1427 undergraduates; 440 graduates) students. The Class of 2015 represents 235 Massachusetts communities, 28 states, and 30 countries. 

UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant public university actively engaged in personalized teaching and innovative research, and acting as an intellectual catalyst for regional economic, social, and cultural development. UMass Dartmouth's mandate to serve its community is realized through countless partnerships, programs, and other outreach efforts to engage the community, and apply its knowledge to help address local issues and empower others to facilitate change for all.


News and Public Information, College of Arts and Sciences