The 12 horticulture seniors were sent into the world of work at the conclusion of the COVID version of the Hort Senior Chapel recently.
The program began with Chaplain Mark Specht 7W7 giving the invocation. In his remarks, Andrew Williams, freshman class president, said “Congratulations, you have earned the right to be called Williamson Men.”
James McChesney, junior class president, said “The days behind you, prepared you for the days ahead of you. Before being a Williamson Man, be a man of God.”
Speaking on behalf of the Alumni Association, Mario Cetroni 9W3, Association president, said “I wish you luck and prosperity. At some point, you will look back and see how your education mattered and meant a lot to you.”
Then, Dr. Michelle Williams, vice president of academic affairs/CAO, said “This is the last day of your 1,000-day Williamson journey. You should be truly grateful and hold your head high. You must now decide how to use the tools you have been given. You will always have Williamson with you no matter what you do.”
Then President Michael Rounds, Williams, and Cetroni, gave each horticulture senior a Williamson coin with their initials, class year, shop, the school’s core values, and the school seal. The coins are meant to be a reminder of Williamson’s core values — faith, integrity, diligence, excellence, and service — and everything learned at Williamson.
Chuck Feld, retired horticulture instructor, reminded the students to remember that all of the students, faculty, and staff are always there for them and not to forget it.
President Rounds told the students they will no longer be coming to chapel every morning, but should continue to keep faith an important part of their lives. He also pointed out that this is the last horticulture senior chapel because in the future, horticulture students will stay on campus until the end of the semester and no longer leave in early spring.
“Your time at Williamson started out normal, but ended up pretty crazy because of the COVID pandemic. But, you persevered and came through it. True leadership is tested in adversity.”
He also praised the students for their capstone project, landscaping with a patio beside Alumni Hall, that was completed on campus in place of an exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show. [The Flower Show will be held in June this year after the students have graduated.] “This project, which you created, will be a part of Williamson forever.”
He closed saying, “Live the core values in everything you do and be a Williamson Man. You should appreciate the gift you have been given of a Williamson education and give back to the school. Mary Nell and I offer you our sincere congratulations.”
The chapel ended with a closing prayer from Specht and the Artisans leading the singing of the alma mater. Then, faculty and staff formed a reception line and congratulated the departing students with fist bumps.
The coins were purchased through a gift from the André J. Dupuis Foundation, which was created in memory of André Dupuis, a 2001 horticulture graduate who passed away in 2011. The foundation is dedicated to preserving the memory of André’s kindness and generosity.