ED WATERS JR.
The Frederick News-Post

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — Last Monday was bittersweet for Ron Volpe, president of Hood College.

In an emotional talk, Volpe addressed the college’s 122nd convocation ceremonies Aug. 25. This school year is his last as president of Hood College, though Volpe said he and his family will remain in Frederick.

In a brief interview before the ceremony, Volpe said he will take a sabbatical and may return to the college to teach some business courses.

“Hood truly has one of the premier faculties in the U.S.,” Volpe told the class of 2018, as well as students from other classes who attended the outdoor ceremony. Volpe talked of the excellent setting Hood College provides and the community it creates with students and faculty, as well as with the Frederick community.

“I’m already reflecting on my life at Hood, but I have another year,” Volpe said.

Volpe told students they may face uncertainty and challenges at Hood, but also excitement and opportunities. “There are young people out there seeking to flee terror and death, seeking religious freedom,” Volpe told the students. “We have that freedom of choice, and we are privileged to be in one of the great colleges in America.”

Noting that Facebook didn’t exist a decade ago and Twitter was just a sound, Volpe said students will face an ever-changing world that can at times be ambiguous and challenging, but students must prepare for that new world and its opportunities.

“Your future employers will not pay you for what you know, but what you can do with what you know,” Volpe told the students.

Shelly Wilson of Woodbine came to see her son, Drew, attend the ceremony.

“He was accepted at Virginia Tech, but chose Hood,” Wilson said in an interview before the ceremony. “He will study chemistry, with minors in math and business management.”

Wilson said her son was impressed with the smaller, family setting at Hood College.

“It is more personal, and they helped financially,” Wilson said of the Hood staff in working to find ways to help pay for tuition and other costs.

Hood is offering several free classes that help in areas from math to writing for freshmen, Wilson said.

According to a news release from the college, first-year students had to read “A Mighty Long Way: My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School,” by Carlotta Walls Lanier. The first-year students, during orientation to the college, participated in small group discussion of the book.

Lanier was the youngest of a group of the first black students at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Lanier plans to visit Hood College on Oct. 22 and provide a lecture about her experiences.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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