After a moment of silence to honor and remember the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy, the Class of 2013 carried on its commencement ceremonies without a hitch at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Ampitheater Sunday on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
The day was marked with somber words, and encouraging themes in several commencement addresses including that from University President, Robert Caret.
"I must say, I have never been prouder of UMass-Dartmouth and its response to this remarkable evil," Caret said to the more than 10,000 people in attendance.
Sunday's undergraduates joined the graduate students in wearing a pin that says "UMass-Dartmouth Strong" over their hearts. It's a symbol of the school's will to protect each other and the rest of the world from the evil that was within its campus walls during the last few years.
"UMass-Dartmouth Strong," explains Chancellor Divina Grossman, "is public safety dispatcher Chakira Gonsalves, whose calm and quick thinking under enormous pressure figured out that a bombing suspect was one of our students, setting the stage for a safe evacuation of the campus."
With an increase in security personnel on hand, the graduates received their diplomas, adjusted their tassels, embraced family and friends, and have already left an indelible mark on the campus and the history of the school.
"I've never been prouder of my school," says 2013 graduate Amber Eusebio. At that time we weren't just individual students. We became one student body. A student body that wouldn't allow anyone to be missing, neglected, or not looked after."