A Message From the President

Release Date: Friday, May 04, 2012

A Message from the President,


Chestnut Hill College requires students to complete their requirements for graduation before they can participate in the graduation ceremony. This is a policy grounded in respect for the integrity of the degree process, and in fairness for those students who have completed their degree requirements.


In March, Rebekah E. Furey asked the College to make an exception to the graduation policy in light of her medical circumstances and allow her the opportunity to participate at graduation. We carefully considered her request, but in the end the College decided against allowing her to participate in the 2012 graduation ceremony. Our decision was not the result of rigid adherence to the policy, as some have suggested, but rather based on respect for the degree process and those who had invested the time and hard work to successfully complete their requirements.


Our decision was neither easy nor popular, and the ensuing controversy gave us cause to reconsider. To all who know her and the special circumstances of her struggle, Ms. Furey is an inspiration whose courage and dedication should be recognized. We agree, and we welcome Ms. Furey to participate in the graduation ceremony scheduled for May 12, 2012.


We continue to believe that the College’s graduation policy is fair and appropriate, and it will remain in effect. As it has in the past, however, the College administration will continue to consider special exceptions to the policy as individual circumstances may warrant.


Carol Jean Vale, SSJ, Ph.D.
Chestnut Hill College