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SUNY Plattsburgh Winter Commencement Exercises on Tap for Field House Dec. 13

SUNY Plattsburgh’s Winter Commencement will be held Saturday, Dec. 13 beginning at 10 a.m. at the Field House. More than 400 students are eligible to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certificates of advanced study during the graduation exercises.

Michaela Bushey, a native of AuSable Forks who is receiving her master’s in education, will address her fellow graduates as commencement speaker. 

Bushey majored in both music education and vocal performance as an undergrad at Ithaca College and had planned on a singing career. But a diving accident left her paralyzed from the chest down and affected her left vocal cord, leaving her unable to sing as before.

On the advice of one of her teachers, she enrolled in the master’s program in literacy education.  A graduate diversity fellowship helped pay for tuition, and participation in extracurricular activities such as the Shine On! Program and a summer literacy camp for children gave her experiential opportunities that she said were great ways to bring the community and college together.  She will speak of bravery in its many forms, from overcoming the hand that’s been dealt to you because you decided to dive into a shallow pool to being kind to yourself in the face of negativity and cruelty.

In addition to a welcome from President John Ettling and presentation of degrees by Dr. James Liszka, provost and vice president for academic affairs, the 2014 Distinguished Service Award, presented by the Plattsburgh College Council, will be presented to Christopher “Kit” and Sara “Sally” Booth for their role in advancing the college, contributing to the community and demonstrating leadership in service to others.

The Plattsburgh couple have long been involved in community affairs, with Mrs. Booth serving 22 years as a docent in the Rockwell Kent Gallery and was design editor of the Plattsburgh State Art Museum’s publication, “The Kent Collector” and the “Art Museum Walking Tour.” Having served as president of the Kent-Delord House Museum Board of Trustees, she was a founder of its Garden Club. She and her husband were founding members of the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Committee, and Mrs. Booth served as design editor of the BOP’s annual magazine for 16 years. She was also a charter member and president of the League of Women Voters of the North Country.

Mr. Booth served as a city alderman, county legislator, chair or co-chair of the Battle of Plattsburgh Committee since its inception, board member and president of the Kent-Delord House Museum, Clinton County American Cancer Society unit president, president of the Rotary Club of Plattsburgh, of the board of the Northern New York Center for the Emotionally Disturbed, and of the Clinton Community College Foundation Board of Directors. Together, he and Mrs. Booth owned and operated Booth’s Gifts, which for many years served as one of the only high-end gift stores in the region.

Jody Carpenter, a member of the Class of 1992, the Alumni Association Board of Directors and vice president of marketing and business development at UFirst Federal Credit Union, will officially welcome the December graduates into the Class of 2014. The Star Spangled Banner and alma mater will be performed by the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir, with the processional and recessional being performed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Bagpipe Band.

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