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SUNY Plattsburgh to Host Commencement Services May 21

SUNY Plattsburgh will honor more than 900 graduates during two commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 21, beginning at 10 a.m. in the college’s Field House.

The morning ceremony will celebrate the accomplishments of students in education, health, human services and business. It will feature words from student speaker Christine Pawlowicz, a childhood and special education major from Goshen, N.Y.

Pawlowicz will discuss catching the “carrot that’s been dangled in front of our faces for the past several years” and encourage her peers to “never lose our drive, passion, charity or curiosity.”

The 2 p.m. ceremony focuses on arts and science graduates and will feature Olapeju Oyeyemi, a TV-video production/broadcast journalism major who is minoring in African studies and English.

Oyeyemi, who grew in Dominica, will speak about her fear in first coming to campus and how she overcame it with an “effortless immersion” into campus life. She will also discuss two “great favors” the college has done for graduates: provide them with a forum for life-long connections and help them attain the “peace accompanied by self-discovery.”

Both ceremonies will feature the presentation of a number of awards as well.

Rafael Angel Suarez Jr., a senior correspondent for PBS’s NewsHour, and George C. Hearn, an Emmy and two-time Tony Award-winning actor, will be presented with honorary degrees from the State University of New York.

In addition, the college will present its Distinguished Service Award to two individuals: Dr. David Mowry, a SUNY distinguished teaching professor and the director of the college’s honors program, and Dr. Richard Semmler, a 1968 alumnus and a Northern Virginia Community College professor who has given more than half his income to charity over his lifetime.

Graduates from SUNY Plattsburgh’s Branch Campus may participate in Saturday’s ceremonies at the Field House or in a joint ceremony with SUNY Adirondack at 7 p.m. May 19 in the Glens Falls Civic Center.

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