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Plattsburgh State Holds Winter Commencement

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ Hugs, laughter and tears of joy were shared between parents, siblings and friends and the newest alumni of the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh following the 2006 Winter Commencement Exercises today (Saturday, Dec. 16).

Winter Commencement Speaker RuthAnn Skowronek Approximately 450 students at SUNY Plattsburgh were eligible to participate in the ceremony at the Field House that featured RuthAnn Skowronek, an individualized studies major from Readington, N.J., as the student speaker.

"I have come to believe that the most important gift of a college education to the young people of our society is not the degree or its usefulness, but the opportunity to evolve as a person and develop a world view," Skowronek told her fellow classmates during her commencement address.

"We need time to dig deep through the impossible pain of our history to form a knowledge of self and of place. That knowledge enables us to better see how we can contribute to our world today and tomorrow."

She also told her fellow classmates to approach people with open arms and to empower themselves to choose change.

"Be aware of the simple things and how we will change them - how we treat our bodies, what we eat, what we say to each other and what we do each day - of the sacrifices we make and whether they are worth it. Only if we can continue to cultivate change within ourselves will we be able to effectively change the world. The ripples spread outward from the center."

Dr. John Ettling, president of SUNY Plattsburgh, presided over the commencement ceremony. Donald Garrant, College Council chair and a 1957 graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, and Arnold Amell, College Council member and 1953 alumnus of the College, handed out the diploma covers to the graduates as they walked across the dais.

Dr. Charles I. Zinser, professor of geography, served as the faculty marshal and led the processional of faculty and students into the ceremony, carrying the College mace.

The Adirondack Brass performed "Pomp and Circumstance," and the Elgin and District Pipes and Drums from Huntington, Quebec, played the bagpipes. The Cardinal Singers, under the direction of Jo Ellen Miano, associate professor and chair of music, also performed during the ceremony.
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