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SUNY Plattsburgh to Hold Commencement Ceremonies May 12

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ More than 900 students at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh are eligible to participate in the two Spring Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12, at the Field House.

The first ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. for students majoring in programs within the Division of Education, Health and Human Services and the School of Business and Economics.  The second ceremony will commence at 2 p.m. for students in the Division of Arts and Science.

The student speaker for both ceremonies will be Megan Jensen, a food and nutrition major from Plattsburgh. She is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Omicron Upsilon and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies and will be graduating summa cum laude.

"I'm very excited," said Jensen. "I called my mom, who is a second-grade teacher, and her whole class clapped for me."

Elizabeth and Michael Jensen will have two daughters graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh on May 12. Megan's sister, Jenifer, will receive her master's in education during the morning ceremony. Her younger sister, Amy, is a junior at Plattsburgh High School.

"All my education has occurred on Broad and Rugar streets," said Jensen, who went to St. John's Academy, Stafford Middle School and Plattsburgh High School before coming to SUNY Plattsburgh.

Jensen will get just one week of rest following commencement before she starts at Albany College of Pharmacy.

"The science courses and teachers are just phenomenal at SUNY Plattsburgh, and they inspired me to go to pharmacy school," she said.

Several distinguished awards will also be presented during the ceremonies.

Trent Trahan, a 1970 alumnus of SUNY Plattsburgh, and Dr. Douglas Skopp, distinguished teaching professor of history, will be honored with the Distinguished Service Award, which is presented by the College Council to honor persons who have made a lasting contribution to the College, community, state, nation and/or the international human community.

Trahan, president and CEO of Champlain Telephone Company, served as president of the Plattsburgh College Foundation from 2001 to 2006. He was the first SUNY Plattsburgh alumnus to lead the Foundation. As chair of the 2000 Business Partners Campaign, he led that program to new heights. Currently, Trahan serves as the co-chair of the Business Advisory Council, which supports the School of Business and Economics.

Since 1972, Skopp has been teaching history at SUNY Plattsburgh. After thousands of classes and just as many students, Skopp is retiring from teaching effective July 1.

"It has been fun seeing the institution grow," said Skopp, who also serves as the college historian. "The College is much healthier now then at any other time I've been here."

Skopp will continue on a part-time basis in his role as college historian "to help promote what this College stands for and its potential by looking at where it's been over its past."

Kevin and Jo Ann (Murtha) Romano will be presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award by Douglas McManus, who received his undergraduate degree in 1989 and graduate degree in 1991 from SUNY Plattsburgh and is president of the Plattsburgh Alumni Association. Kevin graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1987, while Jo Ann graduated in 1985.

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