Heidelberg grads move on to next puzzle piece

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Above, Mary Welsh-Schuleter speaks during Heidelberg University’s 165th commencement ceremony Sunday in Sieberling Gymnasium.

With white rose in hand, more than 200 graduate and undergraduate students marched into the next chapter of their lives Sunday during Heidelberg University’s 165th commencement ceremony.

The commencement –which took place on Mother’s Day — was moved indoors due to weather.

“This ceremony is a salute to the accomplishments of our graduates who are joining more than 15,000 alumni,” Robert Huntington, Heidelberg president, said.

With the white rose, Huntington said the university bestows friendship, love and hope to the graduates on the beginning of the rest of their lives.

The commencement address was delivered by Mary Welsh-Schuleter, founder and CEO of the Partnership for Innovation in Education, a Cincinnati non-profit whose goal is to provide new and transformational learning programs allowing students to excel in the 21st-century workforce.

During her address, Welsh-Schuleter relayed three stories.

Her first story was about the essay Welsh-Schuleter wrote to be considered a Fulbright Scholar. She wrote her essay on jigsaw puzzles.

“No matter the puzzle being 500 pieces or 1,000 pieces — the methodology of putting them together is the same,” Welsh-Schuleter said. “Life is like puzzles. The pieces are the building blocks you put together to connect the images of your life.”

Welsh-Schuleter said the image of each puzzle can be re-imagined and re-evaluated to fit each student’s future.

Her second story focused on how her parents taught her to be self-reliant. She said success and failure are just around the corner and each person has to know how to handle both on their own terms.

Welsh-Schuleter’s final story focused on her time at the Harvard Business School, where she learned to learn through the case method — which considers a scenario and how individuals have to work to solve a problem where there is never a perfect answer.

“I entered a new way of learning,” she said. “Exercise your mind every day through different disciplines.”