Learn from history; WSC grads also urged to fight for better future.

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Byline: Priyanka Dayal

WORCESTER - Col. Marian J. McGovern, herself a history-maker, asked graduates of Worcester State College yesterday to learn from history and fight for a better future.

Col. McGovern, the first woman to head the Massachusetts State Police, admitted that when she was younger, she didn't think of the past, she looked only ahead.

But, she said, "I have come to appreciate the value of sacrifices made in the past."

She evoked the passion and devotion of the founding fathers who shaped the country's democracy, and told graduates to follow their lead by marrying the past with the "extremely hectic technological world" of the future.

The colonel, who grew up in a three-decker on Vernon Hill, graduated from Framingham State College and Westfield State College and joined the state police more than 30 years ago, told graduates to find their calling. "I believe we all have a calling in life."

Col. McGovern was the keynote speaker at Worcester State's 134th commencement. Thousands of family members and friends packed the DCU Center to cheer on 840 undergraduates and 228 graduate students who received degrees.

Although Col. McGovern didn't attend Worcester State, she recalled visiting friends there many years ago and said, "Don't let this uniform fool you ... I had a good time in my day."

Col. McGovern received an honorary degree at the ceremony. Lt. Gen. Kevin T. Campbell, commander of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command and Joint Functional Component Command for Integrated Missile Defense - a Worcester State alumnus - also received an honorary degree.

Mark F. Gawlak, president of the senior class, said he never expected he would graduate from Worcester State when he started his first semester of college at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Some of his classmates needed five or six years to get their degrees.

The point, he said, is "don't worry things in the end won't work out the way you thought they would."

Along with the celebration yesterday, there were a few somber moments, as graduates and members of the audience remembered Vanessa A. Dunn of Millbury. Ms. Dunn would have graduated yesterday with a degree in criminal justice, but the 23-year-old was killed in a car crash on Christmas Eve. The college remembered Ms. Dunn by placing a white rose in the chair where she would have sat.

Also addressing the graduates were college president Janelle C. Ashley, U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, and state Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester.

The graduates are:

Bachelor of Arts

Auburn: Samuel A. Bowler, Danielle Lynn Duval, Ashley Christine Sullivan

Barre: Christopher Michael Hanks, Lori A. Stokes (M)

Brookfield: Ashleigh Margaret vanGerven

Charlton: Cynthia M. Barnes

Clinton: Jeremiah James Clark

Douglas: Christopher F. Menn

Gardner: James Douglas Hotaling

Gilbertville: Matthew Meredith Hollis (M)

Grafton: Hollie Ann Taylor

Holden: Jessica Elizabeth Cutroni (C), Matthew Joseph DeCiero, Jasmine M. Elmi, Ellen Marie Sikonski, Ilyse Nicole Sugar, Brian Joseph Taylor

Hubbardston: Ashley Marion Griffin

Hudson: Michael Chukwuma Ajuonuma, Kathryn Anne Devane

Leicester: Danielle Marie Cormier, Jon William Dyson, Jr.

Leominster: Lindsay Marie Dellechiaie, Golda Guella (M)

Marlboro: Patrick James Brien, Matthew Robert Brown

Mendon: Jaclyn Holly Glover (S)

Millbury: Nancy Adriana Calvera, Steven Lee Smyth (S)

North Brookfield: Amanda Louise Daly, Andrew Lawrence Forgit

Northboro: Jason Paul Lessard, Rebecca Ann Swasey

Northbridge: Paraskevi C. Berdos, Mark F. Gawlak

Oxford: Hayley Colange Stefan (S)

Paxton: Sarah Julie Pulsifer

Princeton: Jonathan A. Kelly

Rochdale: Kimberly A. Hescock (C)

Rutland: James D. Keller, Derrick Raymond Leroux

Shrewsbury: Benjamin Mayout Boi, Derek E. Karlgren, Meghann Kathleen McNally, Danielle Alyse Peters (C)

Southbridge: Kaysie Lynn Berthiaume, Melissa Ann Recore

Spencer: Scott Patrick Booker, William Ronald Hodgerney

Sterling: Cheryl A. St.Pierre, Cherise Heather Wheeler

Sutton: Dineen Eleanor Gosselin

Townsend: Andre Maurice Pare (C)

Upton: Francine Louise Farley (C)

Uxbridge: Jacquelyn Christine Lynch

Webster: Richard J. Cameron Jr.

West Boylston: James Edward Leonardi

West Brookfield: Bryan Scott Griffing (S), Gina M. Lavallee, Alyson Michelle Weeks

Westboro: Michael John Orfao

Whitinsville: Benjamin Jonathan Guilfoil

Worcester: Carol Jonae Adade, Kojo Akofa Aggor, Douglas C. Anderson, Robert Andrew Bilotta, Sarah A. Bonito, Martin J. Boros, Josiah Kingsley Burden (C), Agust Jon Calabro, April Theresa Carlile, Patrick Ryan Donahue, Thomas Anthony Egan, Stevens Excellent, Jessica D. Glasier, Renee Christianne Henry, Emily Louise Hine, Wilson Wahome Kiriungi (M), Megan E. Montgomery, Casey Anne Murphy, Daniel F. Nanni, Brandon P. Olivia (C), Aris J. Ortega, Theodoros Andreas Panagiotopoulos, Joelle Angela Panarelli, Ernesto Jose Paulino, Tiffany T. Punch (M), Amanda J. Radesky (M), Miriam Rivera, Robert Thomas Roddy, Michael S. Ryan, Jeremy M. Schwerdt, Andrew M. Sebring, Linah B. Shayo, Danielle Lynne St. Amand, Jason Michael St. Amand, Adam Nathan Swidler, David Thomas Taberner, Jessica Rita Telemaque, Rossella Maria Trafecante, Danielle F. Wise, Crystal L. Woods, Matthew Kevin Wright, Albana Xhemollari

Bachelor of Science

Ashburnham: Ariana Mary LeBlanc (M)

Ashby: Katrina Marie Creighton

Athol: Susan Jean Dodge, Laura Kaczmarczyk, Erin Leigh Martioski, Alyssa...

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