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SUNY Plattsburgh to Host Commencement Services Saturday, May 19

SUNY Plattsburgh will honor more than 1,000 graduates during two commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 21, in the college’s Field House.

A 10 a.m. ceremony will celebrate the accomplishments of students in education, health, human services and business. It will feature words from student speaker Cindy Arellano, a business and marketing major from Lima, Peru.

Arellano will speak about the winding paths her classmates have taken toward graduation, how obstacles faced along the way have defined the graduates as individuals and how they are coming away from the experience with tools that will help them thrive even in a tough economy.

The 2 p.m. ceremony focuses on arts and science graduates and will feature remarks from Samantha Retrosi, a Latin American studies major from Saranac Lake, N.Y.

Retrosi will speak about her own transformation at what she now calls her “spiritual home.” She will discuss how she has been “internally revolutionized and permanently committed to critical engagement.” Then, she will talk about the challenges faced by graduates, suggesting that they look at their education as a means to bring people together and build a new future.

Both ceremonies will feature the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award to Kathy MaGaw, an alumna from the Class of ’72. MaGaw was most recently known on campus as the co-chair of the college’s successful Bright with Promise Campaign, a seven-year effort that raised a record $16,085,634 in gifts, surpassing a $15 million goal.

MaGaw has been a member of the Plattsburgh College Foundation Board of Directors for more than a decade, serving as treasurer and sitting on the executive and investment committees. She is also a long-time donor to the college. Among her many gifts was $10,000 to establish the Student-Managed Investment Portfolio. This fund allows students to gain experience in real-world investing.

Graduates from SUNY Plattsburgh’s Branch Campus may participate in the ceremonies at the Field House or in a joint ceremony with SUNY Adirondack at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, in the Glens Falls Civic Center.

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