Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education Celebrates Class of 2023

May 13, 2023

During a Commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 13, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. School of Education bestowed baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees on more than 120 graduates.

A graduate of the School of Education proudly holds up a diploma.

Dr. Joellen Maples, dean of the School of Education, offered words of congratulations and advice to the graduates.

“Whether you are embarking on a teaching career, a librarianship, or a leadership role, today is the start of your new journey,” Maples said. “One of Fisher’s founders Father Hugh J. Haffey identified the single most enduring feature that distinguished Fisher was its high priority on compassionate practice. I hope that you remember to always practice compassion in all your undertakings.”

During the ceremony, Dr. W. Jeff Wallis, a visiting assistant professor in the Executive Leadership Doctoral Program at Iona University, was given the Award for Teaching Excellence at the graduate level. The Awards for Teaching Excellence are chosen by students, and are given annually to full-time faculty members for outstanding work in the classroom.

Calling him a “master of his craft,” one student wrote that Wallis has a way of making complex information simple. “On more than one occasion, Dr. Wallis has helped me think through challenges with my dissertation proposal (even when I was not in his class then). As a result of my experiences in the three classes with Dr. Wallis, I am confident in my ability to conduct research and write a high-quality dissertation,” the student wrote.

Rachel Hildreth, a graduate of the educational leadership program, offered remarks on behalf of the graduates.

“Each of us have individual stories that brought us to Fisher and share a collective story now as graduates,” Hildreth said. “Part of the success and history of Fisher, is the holding fast to the principles of ‘Teach Me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge’ of Psalm 119, with the call to then pour into the lives that we will touch with this same mantra.”