By Ann Marchewka, Interim Director, Norwich University School of NursingNursing’s Pinning Ceremony is a long held tradition that symbolizes strength, courage, and service. This tradition marks accomplishment and a passage into the nursing profession. A time of joy and celebration, families, friends and loved ones participate in this ceremony held in the White Chapel. For faculty, this is a time full of pride in our graduates, yet a knowing that this parting will also bring feelings of sadness. Just a short while ago, White Chapel was filled with over 300 family members and friends – all present to participate in the pinning ceremony, held on Norwich University’s Commencement Day. The room filled with pride, joy, and great emotion. Graduating nurse Meredith Hinz, talked about the Class of 2015’s 34 graduates coming together, and staying together, through challenging times. With humor, Meredith spoke about how much classmates meant to each other—about the deep, abiding relationships and of the friendships forged through challenge and hardship.
Faculty also spoke about the privilege of teaching and mentoring these extraordinary students through the rigors of a nursing degree program, many of whom raised families and worked jobs while taking a full academic load. Much happened over these four years—dear loved ones passed, and new life was born.
During the ceremony, Director Sharon Richie, PhD, shared her thoughts:
“During my care in local medical facilities recently, I have met many Norwich University grads and they speak of the ‘awesome nursing education’ they received here and how grateful they are for our high standards. I always thanked them for their comments and reminded them that the School of Nursing faculty remains committed to their professional development. We will always be here for professional guidance and offer opportunities for graduate school. Regardless of their need, they should call us and stay in touch. We are family and will always be here for them.”
As interim director, Ann Marchewka took the podium to share her thoughts with the class of 2015:
“You came to us with purpose, not by accident … and you leave us with all that’s necessary, and more. Even so, there will be times when what faces you feels beyond what you can do, or even endure—this thing you face, wholly impossible.
It is during such times you will remember the ‘edge.’ That place you’ve moaned, even cried about. That place where you meet all of who you are … the very bed of your creation.
Remember, too, how we laughed about that thing that did not matter–what we did not care about. Rather, you remember what does matter …And with that resolve, in the midst of what must be faced, you trust and you act. My promise to you is that all of who you are will be there … will never fail you. It cannot be otherwise.
In the fall we will look for you. We will see you in the distance, only to remember you are, each of you, in the very place of your dreams.”