More than eight hundred participants attended commencement exercises, as Antioch University New England (AUNE) conferred degrees on one hundred and forty graduates Saturday, May 14, at Keene High School.
Eric Utne, social entrepreneur and founder of the Utne Reader, who gave the commencement address, told the graduates that following their hearts would serve them best as they become “change agents” in the world. “The spiritual journey, one’s soul journey, is something that goes on through your whole life,” he said.
Utne recounted his own spiritual journey, which included several attempts at studying architecture in college, studies in meditation and acupuncture and Chinese medicine and, eventually, journalism. He founded the Utne Reader in 1984; sixteen years later, burned out, he left the magazine taking a “sabbatical that lasted forever.” He had, he said, become “too much identified with ideas. I needed to find my heart.”
Introduced to the works of social thinker and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, he learned more about the balance between thinking and feeling, and taught at a Waldorf school for several years. “It was the hardest work I ever did, and also the most rewarding.”
He is now a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, where he is co-writing a curriculum about the social and environmental aspects of personal and community health and well-being. He writes and speaks on social entrepreneurship, holistic journalism, community-building and other topics. His journey continues. Struggle to find the humanity in every person by connecting to their heart, he told the students. “Find and feel and follow your heart.”
Students from the Dance/Movement Therapy program in the Department of Applied Psychology gave a dance movement performance, “Antioch Echoes in My Mind,” choreographed by Hannah Whitley. The Monadnock Brass Quintet performed the prelude, processional and recessional.
President David A. Caruso welcomed the graduates and guests and awarded the diplomas. The graduates come from sixteen states, Nigeria, Mongolia and Tajikistan.
These degrees were awarded:
125 master’s in applied psychology, education, environmental studies and management
11 doctoral degrees (PsyD) in clinical psychology
4 doctoral degrees (PhD) in environmental studies
Graduate degrees will have been conferred on 252 AUNE students for the 2010-2011 school year.