“I rationalize my indecisiveness with the fact that I was always chasing what I thought was something fulfilling and something great,” she said. “But what took me too long to realize was that while I was trying to achieve something incredible, I was becoming something incredible —someone who has found the harmonious balance of self-preservation and self-discovery. It is retaining who I am while still aiming to grow. And I am confident that the same thing happened to many of you.”
Scuderi was a member of the Student Senate, serving on several committees, including the COVID-19 response committee. She became an orientation leader her junior year, which she counts among her most rewarding experiences at Lehigh. She also held several leadership positions within her sorority, Alpha Omicron Pi, and has been a volunteer with Best Buddies and LifePath, working with persons who have developmental disabilities.
Scuderi acknowledged the struggles that her fellow graduates likely felt, whether in striving to perform well in difficult classes or getting rejected from internships and jobs. But she said, there was an inherent beauty in the struggles they had and in trying to overcome them, especially given the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“While our circumstances were not ideal,” she said, “we all did everything in our power to make the most of it, and that is incredible.”
Scuderi says she learned many things while at Lehigh: “I have learned that the Lehigh Lookaway is a real thing, that there is nothing that Hawks Nest or the Goose can’t cure, and that a Mountain Hawk is not a real animal (but don’t tell Clutch). I have learned the value of myself, of my peers, and to appreciate all of the opportunities that our community has offered.”
Scuderi said Lehigh has prepared her and her fellow graduates well for whatever comes next.
“That is the power of this place—a place that teaches you that even if you can’t be an astronaut, you can still shoot for the moon,” she said, then challenged her fellow graduates. “Dare to be something great. Use what Lehigh has given you and run with it.”
In the morning session, Marco G. E. Biaggio '21 sang the National Anthem and the Alma Mater, and in the afternoon session, Natalie E. Maroun '21 sang both. Sam Dugan '71 and Amy Hoover '21 helped close the ceremony with the traditional ringing of the bell.
Lehigh also held a Commencement ceremony Saturday morning for the Class of 2020. Former NASA astronaut and Lehigh mechanical engineering and mechanics professor Terry Hart ’68 virtually delivered a heartful Commencement address Friday.