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December 13, 2004 - In its first ever mid-year formal graduation ceremony, Aquinas College Wednesday (December 8) gave diplomas to more than two dozen students who completed either their undergraduate or graduate studies. A brief ceremony marked an end to years of study for the 29 students who received their diplomas at a commencement ceremony held in the College's Wege Student Center Ballroom.

Before Wednesday, students who had completed their course of study in mid-year would have the option to return to campus in May to receive their diploma with the rest of the College's graduates. However, for those living a distance from school, returning in May, more often than not, was not an option and, therefore, participating in the larger ceremony was not possible. Earlier this year, however, the student senate decided it was time to recognize the mid-year graduates in a ceremony of their own.

Provost Edward Balog offered commencement remarks, reflecting on how education should have provided each and every graduate with the means to engage in a lifelong fight against ignorance.

"Education should at minimum be uncomfortable and at its peak occasionally painful because it should force you to abandon your blissful ignorance," said Balog. "But in the process you become aware of the value of alternative explanations, hypotheses, and opinions. This provides you with the material to sift through the process of analysis and to discriminate, which leads to intelligent action. We hope that your liberal education has fulfilled its original meaning, i.e. liberating your mind from the constraints of blissful ignorance and prepared you for a full life as a citizen, a productive professional, and as an individual who is comfortable when alone and not bored with yourself."

The brief ceremony was followed by a reception and pictures.