Amid Abrupt Closure, Mount Ida Bids Its Final Graduates Farewell

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A building on Mount Ida College's campus (Courtesy Mount Ida via Facebook)
A building on Mount Ida College's campus (Courtesy Mount Ida via Facebook)

The last students have graduated from Mount Ida College. The ceremonies for the closing college were held in driving rain at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, in Boston's Seaport District.

The Seaport was chosen over the traditional site, Mount Ida's campus in Newton. Parents say that was to accommodate more guests at the final graduation. The last class escapes the fate of the hundreds of undergraduates left scrambling to find other colleges after Mount Ida sprang news of its closure last month.

Rufaro Nyarota, of Worcester, graduated with a master's degree in management, and expressed conflicting feelings.

"Mixed emotions, because [it's] the last commencement at Mount Ida and how everything just turned around, like in April, because we found out in April, so it's been a tough journey to get here," Nyarota said. "For students like myself, it's nice that they actually gave us [the chance] to graduate.

Mount Ida's president and board of trustees had nothing to say about the college closing. That's because they were not invited to Mount Ida's 119th graduation ceremony. Kelly Schroeder, of Grafton, left with a master's in health care management, and said it's with a heavy heart that she sees the college go down.

"I don't know," Schroeder said. "It's just overwhelming not having somewhere to go back to, but it's the energy that gets you through, I guess. It's fine. I'm done. That's what matters."

The abrupt closure was the topic of graduation. Class speaker Corey Staub explained how angry he became when he learned the school would be closing.

"How could the school I trusted with our future be so shortsighted?" Staub said. "How dare we continue to market the school as becoming stronger every day if we were struggling to keep the lights on? Who was so out of touch with financing that we became crippled by millions of dollars of debt?"

Questions are likely to be asked of Mount Ida's president as he faces a state Senate hearing this week.

This segment aired on May 13, 2018.

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Fred Thys Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.



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