‘All of you will teach in some way’

MU grads get lessons in responsibility

By LORI VAN INGEN, Staff Intelligencer Journal Published: Dec 17, 2007

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. – Millersville University commencement keynote speaker Dr. Craig Camasta charged winter graduates Sunday afternoon with the responsibility of taking care of the lives and minds of our society.

Camasta is a 1986 graduate of Millersville University and a 1991 top-10 graduate of Temple University College of Podiatric Medicine, has pioneered theories and surgical techniques in his specialty.

Camasta told the graduates they have reached a benchmark by which our society measures adults who are “ready for life.” Besides being granted privileges for reaching that benchmark, they also must accept increased responsibility.

“Privilege and responsibility are inseparable. … Nothing is more important than respecting the privileges that you will be granted,” Camasta said. “When you are placed in a position of authority and given that privilege, you must perform in a way that never violates the trust that society places in you.

“Never forget that you will be trusted to take care of the minds and lives of our society. The burden of your education is that you must responsibly carry these social privileges with you into your workplace and around your community. Many of you will become teachers — but all of you will teach in some way,” Camasta said.

Camasta also told the graduates they must be persistent and never give up. He quoted President Coolidge, who said, ” Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. … Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Earning an education does not automatically enssure you will be successful, he said.

“You may have God-given talents. You may be educated. But you will also need to be persistent in the pursuit of your dreams,” Camasta said.

Some think successful people are lucky, Camasta said, but he believes they’re the ones who are prepared and seeking opportunities.

“Leave nothing to chance,” he told the graduates, “or else things will happen to you and not for you.”

Millersville University President Francine McNairy followed along the same theme, charging the new graduates — who numbered 412 this semester — with the responsibility to give back to society.

“Now it’s up to you,” she said. “This proclamation (of commencement) means you are responsible … to meet the challenges yet to be identified, required to make the new inventions, new solutions to meet the challenges in the world.

“This is your time to confront fear .. and establish hope. Seize the opportunity to make the unique contributions you and you alone can make. Seize the opportunity to leave your imprint on the world.”

Samuel N. Lombardo, a prominent Lancaster entrepreneur and volunteer, is one such individual who has left his imprint on his community. Lombardo was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at Sunday’s 151st commencement ceremonies.

The president and chief executive officer of Benecon Group Inc., an employee benefits consulting firm he formed in 1997, Lombardo also owns S.N. Lombardo Insurance Brokers, which he founded in 1977.

As an insurance entrepreneur, Lombardo was the first to introduce in 1991 the concept of health insurance purchasing cooperation, which enables municipalities, and now colleges and universities, to form groups to purchase employee benefits.

In addition, Lombardo lends his business talents to organizations such as the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center, and he serves on Millersville University’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board and provided leadership support for the renovation and expansion of McComsey Hall.