Deirdre McNamara
  • Environmental Studies
  • Class of 2014
  • Kennebunkport, ME

Deirdre Marie McNamara Graduates from Saint Michael's College, with Ocean Explorer Sylvia Earle as Principal Speaker

2014 Jun 9

Deirdre Marie McNamara, daughter of Joan and Michael McNamara of Kennebunkport, graduated from Saint Michael's College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies at the college's 107th commencement exercises held on the college campus May 11th.

The Commencement speaker was internationally known deep-sea explorer and oceans champion Sylvia Earle, who ultimately struck an optimistic note in her message to 2014 graduates about their power to offer hope and take actions that might preserve our planet for future generations.

The National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and world-renowned oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer, nicknamed "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and New York Times, addressed an audience of nearly 4,500 including 438 undergraduates (169 bachelor of science, 269 bachelor of arts), 41 master's students (11 master of arts in clinical psychology, 19 master's in education, one master of science in administration, 10 master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages) along with families, friends, faculty and staff. Degree recipients from last August and December also attended, bringing the total number of participating undergraduates to about 480.

Earle noted how appropriate it was on Mother's Day to honor "the mother of all mothers - Mother Earth," or perhaps even "Mother Ocean," since that's where 95 percent of the world's life-giving water is. Earle suggested "we're in a time like never before and never again" for making policies that might, in the true spirit of Saint Michael's, takes others into account -- even if they are the others of the future. Saint Michael the Archangel, she playfully reminded the audience, "was an action figure" representing the victory of good over evil -- a good role model in a life-or-death struggle like the survival of the planet that is our only small shared home in such a vast universe.

"What are the reasons for hope? There is no greater reason for hope than this Class of 2014," she concluded to cheers.

About Saint Michael's College

Saint Michael's College delivers a compelling, world-class education in a beautiful Vermont setting. Our connected community allows students to form close relationships with each other and accomplished faculty members, providing an ideal learning environment where they have the space and support to challenge themselves and their peers. As a fully residential college located minutes from Burlington, one of the country's top-rated college towns, Saint Michael's offers an unparalleled mix of academic, spiritual, cultural, service and wilderness experiences. To learn more, visit