Author Maldonado urges Quinnipiac grads to ‘write your own story’

HAMDEN — Novelist Crystal Maldonado urged Quinnipiac University graduates to “boldly embrace the role of author of their own lives,” speaking at one of two commencement ceremonies on the university’s Mount Carmel Campus Saturday, the school said in a release.

The university awarded 1,915 undergraduate degrees in two ceremonies Saturday.

“Writing taught me that we can each be the main character in our own stories and create our own narrative. I hope you’ll remember this as you go out into the world as Quinnipiac University graduates,” Maldonado said, according to the release. “I hope you let go of the fear that you may secretly be a powerless, unnamed background character in someone else’s story. I hope you put your shoulders back, hold your head up high, and remind yourself that you are the main character, and it’s up to you to write your own story.”

Saturday’s graduates were in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, School of Business, School of Communications and School of Computing and Engineering, the university said.

Paul Lavoie, the state’s chief manufacturing officer, shared with graduates his three Cs for success.

“You must be competent,” Lavoie said, according to the release. “You must know what you're doing. Second, you must be confident. People are attracted to confidence. Third, you must be connected. Class of 2022, you are competent and confident, but are you connected? Look at your classmates and make an effort to stay connected. To achieve true success, be all three. Please go forward, be creative, drive innovation and change the world for the better. We're counting on you.”

President Judy Olian described the graduates as

“future political scientists and sociologists … award-winning authors and biologists … nurses and rehabilitative specialists … a group of graduates who will achieve change for the better, helping bring new discoveries to life, making them broadly accessible, and improving the quality of life of every individual you touch,” according to the release.

Commencement exercises will be held Sunday for graduate students, and on Monday for students graduating from the School of Medicine and School of Law, the university said.