Congressman urges Loyola seniors to help the poor after graduation At Hood, Mikulski praises women's political gains

340 graduate at St. Mary's

May 17, 1998|By Ivan Penn and Jill Hudson Neal | Ivan Penn and Jill Hudson Neal,SUN STAFF

Known as one of the world's leading advocates for alleviating hunger, U.S. Rep. Tony P. Hall served a taste of his passion during Loyola College's commencement yesterday, urging graduates to help others as they pursue their careers.

"I hope you will travel, and get off the beaten track to see for yourself the poverty in which 1 billion of our fellow human beings live their entire lives," said Hall, a 1998 Nobel Peace Prize nominee who represents the Dayton, Ohio, area.

Hall's speech was part of Loyola's 129th commencement. He and Robert M. Bell, chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, received honorary degrees as part of the ceremony, which included 768 graduates.

About 6,000 people attended the event at the Baltimore Arena, many carrying roses for graduates.

Hall's moving tales of fasting to help fight world hunger, his faith in God and his experience meeting the late Mother Teresa -- whom he called "a hero of mine" -- were met with great applause.

"I'm telling you all of this in the hope that you can turn your education and your faith into work you find rewarding," Hall said. "I guess my simple message to you today is love God and be faithful to do the work in front of you."

Hall, 56, a Democrat, organized the House of Representatives Select Committee on Hunger. He went on a 22-day, water-only fast to protest his colleagues' vote to abolish the committee.

Hall peppered yesterday's mostly serious speech with humor.

You may be in debt, but you made it," he told the graduates.

Hood College

Bachelor's and master's degrees were awarded to more than 400 students at Hood College in Frederick yesterday, with U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski giving the commencement address.

College President Shirley D. Peterson told the crowd that Mikulski had been given an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1987, when many of this year's graduating seniors were 10-year-olds and in fifth grade.

During her address, Mikulski noted that "in 1987, there were only two women in the U.S. Senate. Today, there are nine. When I come back to Hood in 20 years, I'll bring you the news of the first woman U.S. president."

St. Mary's College

Deborah Tannen, best-selling author of "You Just Don't Understand: Men and Women in Conversation," delivered the commencement speech to 340 graduates and was awarded a doctor of letters degree at St. Mary's College of Maryland in St. Mary's City.

Former state Sen. J. Frank Raley received an honorary doctor of laws degree.

"It was a beautiful, sunny day and commencement went well," said Stacy M. Pruitt, a St. Mary's spokeswoman.

Pub Date: 5/17/98

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