Julius Jones Tells Springfield College Graduates
May 12, 2007
to Practice Caring, Forge Change
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., May 12, 2007 – Julius Jones, member of the YMCA Hall of Fame, told master’s and doctoral degree candidates at Springfield College’s 121st commencement ceremonies today to “Practice caring.”
“Geographical, language, and trust barriers will disappear when we have caring people throughout the world. You must have an attitude that says, ‘I can and will forge change. I will become part of that mass of humanity who embrace all the people of the world,’” the retired president and chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh YMCA said at 9:30 a.m. ceremonies on Naismith Green on the western Massachusetts campus.
“I challenge you to gain an understanding and appreciation of the world and its people and how they work, and develop the courage to change them for the better. Let no obstacle stand before you in this quest. Don’t put limits on yourself,” he said.
Springfield College awarded Jones an honorary doctor of humanics degree at the ceremony attended by more than 2,600 graduates, guests, and members of the college’s faculty and administration. Springfield College, historically, has awarded honorary degrees to a few outstanding individuals who, by their character and accomplishments, personify the college’s guiding philosophy, humanics. The philosophy emphasizes the dedication of spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others.
In conferring the honor, Springfield College cited Jones for creating programs that improved the lives of urban children and families, mentoring future YMCA leaders, and creating YMCA partnerships with war-torn, impoverished third-world countries.
The college also awarded 750 master’s degrees to graduates of its schools of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies; Health, Physical Education and Recreation; Health Sciences and Rehabilitation Studies; Human Services; and Social Work. Four graduates received doctor of philosophy degrees in physical education.
Tomorrow, Springfield College will award bachelor’s degrees in commencement ceremonies at the MassMutual Center in Springfield at 9:30 a.m. H. Todd Stitzer, chief executive officer of Cadbury Schweppes, will be the speaker.