UMass Dartmouth is celebrating the Class of 2022 for their perseverance and accomplishments.

On Friday, May 6, family, friends, staff, and faculty cheered and were inspired by many of the graduates as they walked across the stage.

The Class of 2022 was split into two ceromonies. Students from the School for Marine Science & Technology, College of Engineering and Charlton College of Business were all a part of the morning ceremony.

The afternoon ceremony consisted of students from the College of Visual & Performing Arts, College of Nursing & Health Sciences, and the College of Arts & Sciences.

Chancellor Mark A. Fuller said: "There will be challenges, to be certain, both personal and professional. There will be wrong turns and second guesses.There will be people standing in your way who dont think you can do it."

The Class of 2022 has accomplished much during a difficult time for the world.

Narcisse Kunda came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, earning a bachelor's degrees in Managment-Leadership and Marketing.

"Our time at UMass Dartmouth has prepared us to navigate uncertanties," Kunda said. "We have learned to adapt to the constantly changing circumstances of our world. We have learned to plan but also to be flexible. We have learned to think about the future and live in the present."

Thais Sousa earned a doctorate in Nursing.

"For all of you out there, especially those of you who don't think you have accomplished enough, or speak enough English, or have the perfect resume to accomplish something big. I need you to hear me when I say: Obstacles are not a reason to quit. Manage them, overcome them, and be humble enough to ask for that 'extra help' when you need it," Sousa said.

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Graduates also heard from Matt Witzgall, president of the Alumni Association, Trustee Mary Burns and Robert T. Jones, associate provost for Undergraduate and Faculty Affairs.

The university conferred 1,800 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Students represented 257 cities and towns in Massachussetts, 39 states and 32 countries.

The graduating class was 29% first-generation students and 33% students of color.

WBSM intern Leilanie Rodriguez contributed to this report.