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Manchester University sends off Class of 2018

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PHOTOS: Graduates take photos with family members during Saturday’s commencement exercises.
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COMMENCEMENT: Undergraduate candidates take their seats during Manchester University’s commencement ceremony on Saturday.
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ADVICE: Former Indiana governor and U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh encouraged the undergraduate class of 2018 to pursue lives of character and to “love America” by loving their fellow Americans.

by MACKENZI KLEMANN - mklemann@wabashplaindealer.com

NORTH MANCHESTER — It was a day of goodbyes and new beginnings on Saturday, when members of the Manchester University Class of 2018 accepted their degrees and celebrate their last day on the North Manchester campus.

In total, the university awarded 71 pharmacy doctoral, three pharmacogenomics master’s, 12 athletic training master’s and 284 bachelor’s degrees over the weekend.

Undergraduate students were sent off with parting words from former Indiana governor and two-term senator Evan Bayh, who was awarded an honorary doctoral degree for his work toward bipartisan problem solving.

Bayh told students to “hold close those that you love, cherish the virtues of character that we have always honored, lead a life of service and love America by loving your fellow Americans.”

The former governor and senator, who now works for the bipartisan political organization No Labels, emphasized the ideals and values which he believes bind Americans, even in times of political strife.

“Currently we are riven by disputes,” Bayh said. “Too often, Americans now define ourselves by our differences rather than what we have in common. And we have so much more in common than many people have been led to believe. A common heritage, a common set of ideals, a common destiny.”

Bayh told students that it’s “impossible” to love America without also loving the people who live there. He encouraged the class to lead lives of character, to “do the best that you can to choose the hard right over the easy wrong.”

He concluded his remarks by quoting the late John F. Kennedy’s final words: “Our duty to our party is not to our party alone, but to this nation and to all of mankind. Our duty is not only to the preservation of political power, but the preservation of peace and of freedom. So let us not be petty when our cause is so great …

“Let us stand together with renewed confidence in our cause, united in our pride for the past and our hopes for the future.”