Framingham State Celebrates the Class of 2024

Sometimes we all just need to be reminded that we are loved and that we matter.

At a time when mental health and loneliness have been identified as a national epidemic, that was the message that Framingham State University keynote speaker Dr. Alicia Moreland-Capuia – a trauma specialist at McLain Hospital – left FSU’s graduates with during a packed ceremony at the DCU Center in Worcester on May 19th.

"I also want you to know that your pain matters, your purpose matters, your joy matters, your hope matters, your dreams matter,” Moreland-Capuia told the graduates toward the end of her speech. “I am literally changing the world with love and I invite you to do the same. You are bright, you are loved, you are beautiful, you matter.”

Framingham State conferred 552 bachelor degrees during the ceremony as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Moreland-Capuia for her years for dedication to reducing human suffering.

Dr. AMC, as she is known to her students and patients, is the founder and director of the Institute for Trauma-Informed Systems Change at McLean, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical, and the co-founder of The Capuia Foundation, which provides healthcare and educational support to families in Angola, Africa.

FSU President Nancy S. Niemi told the graduates that the college experience not only equips them to go onto a successful career, but it helps them become more skilled at seeing and understanding the point of view of those around them.

“I think that potential for impact is what makes attending higher education so powerful—for the time it takes to earn your degree, you end up losing yourself in something bigger,” she said. “In the process of working toward a future where different jobs, opportunities, and lives are possible, you learn how to show up, day after day, and semester after semester. You learn how to do work that is hard, and that is often open-hearted. You learned to live to the truth that by seeing from others and other points of view, so much is possible for you, for the people you love, and for the world.

During the ceremony, the President’s Medal was also awarded to Dr. Roberta Ward Walsh ’66, a retired college professor and longtime support of FSU. She and her late husband Richard J. Walsh established two scholarships at Framingham State that support students.

Two days earlier on May 17th, the University celebrated 282 master’s degree recipients during its graduate ceremony in the FSU Athletic Center.

Keynote speakers Allison ‘01 and Ryan McKeen ‘01, who both went on to become attorneys, spoke about the uncertainty of change and the importance of relying on the people who care about you.

“So, when you are stumbling, consider leaning on the people who have held you up as you walked along this particular path,” Allison McKeen told the graduates. “Throughout all of the sacrifice and long hours of your education, someone has cheered you on. They are precious, and they are key to keep perspective.”

The McKeens also shared monumental change happening in their own lives – that after many years, they are both leaving Connecticut Trial Firm, the large and successful law firm they helped found. Ryan McKeen connected the decision to the University’s motto of “live to the truth.”

“Leaving Connecticut Trial Firm was a painful process,” said Ryan McKeen. “So I acknowledged that truth and am moving on to ventures that fill my soul with joy. And coming full circle, part of my truth is that I want to teach.”