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Spring Commencement Events Set for May 19

Nearly 1,000 students are eligible to don their caps and gowns and cross the dais at the annual SUNY Plattsburgh spring commencement Saturday, May 19.

Two commencement ceremonies will be held at the Field House gymnasium, the first beginning at 9 a.m. for students graduating with degrees from the School of Education, Health and Human Services and the School of Business and Economics, and at 2 p.m. for those students earning their degrees in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Student Speakers

Kyala Clegg, who is graduating with a degree in nutrition and a minor in personal training and chemistry, will address students at the 9 a.m. ceremony. Clegg, from West Chazy, N.Y., felt at home the moment she stepped foot on campus as a prospective student.

“Though I was still considering other schools, I could not fight the feeling of being at home,” Clegg said. She enrolled that fall and continued feeling at home every semester since.

Clegg vowed to challenge herself to “try something new each semester, thus opening as many doors for new experiences and opportunities as possible.

“This has served me well, and I can truly say that I have experienced everything SUNY Plattsburgh has to offer,” she said. “SUNY Plattsburgh offered me a firm foundation in the nutrition program and allowed me the opportunity to cross disciplines to truly recreate myself in my time here.”

MacKenzie Dumas, a communication studies graduate from Salem, N.Y., will address her fellow arts and sciences graduates during the afternoon ceremony.

Dumas, who plans to continue at SUNY Plattsburgh in the student affairs and higher education graduate program, said she chose Plattsburgh “because of its great communications program. I was also close enough to home that I could visit often, and it had an impressive number of ways to get involved.”

She took advantage of those opportunities, becoming a resident adviser, vice president of clubs and organizations in the Student Association, and served as president of the campus ukulele club, among other activities. To her fellow grads, she suggests they never lose sight of their accomplishments.

“When great things happen, be excited for them, but also know that not everything will happen as you were hoping it would. When lousy circumstances arise, know that you have the strength and ability to push through them and move forward.

“I am sure a lot of us have a plan, but the truth is that plans change. People change. Our lives change,” she said.

Performances, Distinguished Service Award

Both ceremonies begin with a processional performed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Bagpipe Band followed by the singing of the National Anthem by the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir.

President John Ettling will welcome students, parents and friends to the proceedings before he presentation of the 2018 Distinguished Service Award to Dr. E. Thomas Moran, distinguished service professor emeritus and retired director and founder of the Institute for Ethics in Public Life.

The Distinguished Service Award has been presented by the College Council since 1966 to honor persons who have made a lasting contribution to the college, community, state, nation and/or to the international community.

Candidates will be presented for degrees by Dr. Michael Morgan, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Jessica Falace, president of the Student Association, will preside over the official tassel change, after which Dr. Ashley Gambino ’04, first vice president of the Plattsburgh Alumni Association, will welcome students into the alumni fold during the morning ceremony while Marcia Rollins Cognetta ’98, director, Plattsburgh Alumni Association, will welcome new association members during the afternoon ceremony.

The May 19 ceremony will be broadcast live online beginning at 9 a.m. Link available on the college website.

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