Neurosurgeon Carson, librarian Hayden offer inspiration at Notre Dame

2 of college's graduates are Fulbright Scholars


"Think big," Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Sr. told graduates at the 106th commencement of the College of Notre Dame of Maryland yesterday. "Persevere," said Carla D. Hayden, executive director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Their words fell on unusually receptive ears.

Two of the college's new graduates have won grants to pursue projects abroad as Fulbright Scholars. Others have balanced school, work and family obligations to earn their degrees through Weekend College, a part-time program for those in the work force, and through Accelerated College, which helps nursing and business students earn their bachelor's degree in as little as 2 1/2 years.

The two members of the Class of 2004 who have been chosen as Fulbright Scholars are Rachel Kleinberg of Dundalk, who will conduct a study on sustainable livelihoods in Malawi, and Melissa Martinez of Baltimore, who plans to travel to the Philippines to study the effects of newly enforced international intellectual property rights law on health care.

Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins medical institutions, spoke at undergraduate ceremonies in the morning, when 332 students received their bachelor's degrees. Carson, in turn, was presented with a doctorate of humane letters.

In the afternoon, Hayden, who also is president of the American Library Association, took over the honors as 351 graduate students received master's degrees and 13 received the Certificate of Advanced Study in Education.

Hayden received the college's Pro Urbe Award for enriching Baltimore through her work at the Pratt. Both ceremonies, normally held outdoors, were forced indoors, to the MBK Gymnasium, because of the 17-year cicadas.

"Prepare, perform and persevere," Hayden told the men and women receiving graduate degrees.

"Many of you made a lot of sacrifices to get your degrees," she said, "and I have to tell you that it's not over. ... Remember this day when you are burned out and think you can't go on. Look back and remember the sense of accomplishment you feel today."

As for thinking big, Carson put it this way:

T - talent, of the academic sort

H - honesty

I - insight

N - nice

K - knowledge

B - books

I - in-depth learning

G - God

And a standing ovation rounded off the ceremony.

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