Dec 03, 2018 |
Lydia Ngomba, a marketing major from Burtonsville, Maryland, will give the student address at St. Bonaventure University’s December Recognition Ceremony to be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, in the University Chapel, Doyle Hall.
The annual event recognizes graduate and undergraduate students completing degree requirements in the fall semester.
In addressing her classmates, Ngomba plans to remind them of their long and sometimes difficult journey in getting to this pivotal time in their lives. In her case, the long road traveled is no cliché.
When her ride to St. Bonaventure for freshman move-in day fell through, Ngomba, an inexperienced driver at the time, set off in a rental car. The six-hour drive turned into a 14-hour nightmare. With a dead cell phone and night falling, “I got lost in the middle of Pennsylvania for what seemed like an eternity,” she said.
It was a risky decision to set off on her own, Ngomba admits, “But I made it to school and that’s all that mattered to me. I was here, ready to make my mark.”
She knew St. Bonaventure was the right school for her on her initial visit to campus, she said, and when she got her acceptance email, followed by another from the marketing department chair, she immediately dismissed other schools to which she’d applied.
“St. Bonaventure is like no other school, it has a special feeling to it,” Ngomba said she will remind those attending the ceremony. “What makes Bona’s so special is that she takes you as you are and molds you into the person you will become. She sees what is in you and helps you figure it out for yourself.”
Each graduate has overcome challenges and persevered, she said, and she will urge her classmates to now go out into the world and make a difference, to lead and inspire. “Bona’s has been preparing us for this moment,” she said. “It’s time to apply all that we have learned and prove ourselves.”
Ngomba has been active in her time on campus. She has served as a residence hall resident assistant the past two years, earning a Residence Life Commitment Award, and was secretary of the Black Student Union in 2017-2018.
She has achieved academically as well, receiving a Provost Scholarship, which is awarded to entering freshmen with high academic achievement, and a Geographic Diversity Grant. She was also a winner in the annual All Bonaventure Reads essay contest.
Off campus, Ngomba served as a guest service ambassador for Pod DC hotel in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2018, and as an office assistant/intern at 1st Choice, LLC, a management consulting firm in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the summer of 2016.
The daughter of Elizabeth Nguty of Burtonsville, Ngomba will continue her education at the University of Maryland, where she has been accepted into the MBA program. She is also applying for marketing positions in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore areas, hoping to work full time while attending school.
Delivering the faculty address at the December Recognition Ceremony will be Dr. Jean-Francois Godet-Calogeras, professor of theology and Franciscan studies. University President Dr. Dennis R. DePerro will also address the gathering.
Dr. Joseph Zimmer, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, will serve as master of ceremonies. Graduate degree candidates will be presented by Dr. Lisa Buenaventura, dean of the School of Education, and undergraduate candidates will be presented by Aaron Chimbel, dean of the Jandoli School of Communication.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things. St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #1 regional university value in New York and #2 in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.