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42nd Annual Empire State College Graduation Celebrations Across the State May 31-June 14; 3,000+ to Graduate

By David Henahan, director of communications, Office of Communications and Government Relations

June 16, 2014

Empire State College LogoCelebratory events marking the 42nd annual SUNY Empire State College Commencement began May 31 in Buffalo and will conclude June 14 on Long Island.

Events also will be held at Albany, New York City, the Hudson Valley, Rochester, Saratoga Springs and Syracuse. More than 3,000 students are expected to graduate this year and add to the ranks of the college’s more than 70,000 alumni.

“My admiration and congratulations go to each and every one of the members of the Empire State College class of 2014 for their hard work and success in earning their degree,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “To the families and friends of the graduates and to the college’s outstanding faculty mentors and staff, let me share my gratitude and appreciation for all that you have done to support the members of the class of 2014.”

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40. Women comprise more than 60 percent of the college’s student population. Most of the student population, approximately 60 percent, studies part time. Nearly 90 percent of all students are seeking degrees from the college.

“Very often Empire State College students get up early in the morning and study before their children wake up then get the kids to school, go to work and return to homework after everyone else is asleep,” said Hancock. “At Empire State College’s commencement, parents wear a cap and gown, get hugs and flowers from children and other family members, and not the other way around.”

The college’s 20,000 students engage in learning face-to-face onsite, online or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn. Students also have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

“Empire State College students and the SUNY degree they earn are worth bragging about,” said Hancock. “For example, Ashley Caldwell made the U.S. Olympic Team for the second time and finished 10th at Sochi. She then returned home and became the U.S. National Champion in women’s aerials. Lori Mould, a grandmother of two, is the first Empire State College student ever to be elected president of the SUNY student assembly.  As president, she also will represent all 463,000 students as the student trustee on the SUNY board.”

Both Caldwell and Mould graduate this year and are 2014 recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, SUNY’s most prestigious student honor.

“Lori is going to pursue a graduate degree with the college in the fall and Ashley will continue to compete nationally and internationally,” said Hancock. “The determination, perseverance and talent demonstrated by these two remarkable students, and the success they now enjoy, are shared by the entire Empire State College class of 2014.”

About the 42nd Commencement Events

Students graduating from the college’s School of Nursing will participate in the event at Saratoga Springs. Students graduating from the School for Graduate Studies may participate at any one of the events across the state detailed below.

Additional information about the each of the college’s commencement exercises, including time, day and date, location and speakers follows. Additional information about the speakers will be provided as it becomes available.

Buffalo | Syracuse | Albany | Saratoga Springs | Hudson Valley | Rochester | New York City | Labor | Long Island

About Buffalo

The college’s commencement at Buffalo took place beginning at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 31, Rockwell Hall, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, N.Y.

Christopher L. Jacobs, Erie County clerk, will give the commencement address.

Degree candidates Iris M. Rivera ’14 and Christopher L. Post ’11, ’14 provided remarks on behalf of their classmates.

The Buffalo event honors students educated at the Cheektowaga, Fredonia, Jamestown, Lockport and Olean offices.

About Syracuse

The college’s commencement at Syracuse took place at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 31, John H. Mulroy Civic Center, 411 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, N.Y.

Degree candidates Sara Tomerlin-Hedger ’14, Kristin L. Angello ’14 and Wayne Paul Britton ‘13 provided remarks on behalf of their classmates.

The Syracuse event honors students educated at the Auburn, Binghamton, Fort Drum, East Syracuse, Ithaca, Utica and Watertown offices.

About Albany

The college’s commencement at Albany takes place beginning at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 7, Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre at The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany, N.Y.

The Albany event honors students educated at the Latham, Johnstown, Plattsburgh, Queensbury, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady and Troy offices.

The event contact is contact is Pat Pillsworth and she can be reached at Patricia.Pillsworth@esc.edu, or at 518 783-6203, ext. 5965.

About Distance Learning at Saratoga Springs

The college’s commencement event for distance learning takes place beginning at 3 p.m., Saturday, June 7, Saratoga City Center, 522 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Alumnus Dennis Brobston ’10, president of the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation, will give the commencement address.

Degree candidate Sandra Barkevich ‘13 will provide remarks on behalf of her classmates. She is a 2014 recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, SUNY’s most prestigious student honor.

The college’s distance learning commencement event honors students educated online throughout New York state, across the country, and around the world, through the college’s Center for Distance Learning.

The event contact is Janet Aiello-Cerio and she can be reached at Janet.Aiello-Cerio@esc.edu, or 518 587-2100, ext. 2470.

About the Hudson Valley

The college’s commencement for the Hudson Valley takes place beginning at 3 p.m., Sunday, June 8, Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, The State University of New York College at Purchase, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.

The Hudson Valley event honors students educated at the Hartsdale, Nanuet and Newburgh offices.

The event contact is Joan Altman and she can be reached at Joan.Altman@esc.edu, 914 948-6206, ext. 3588.

About Rochester

The college’s Rochester commencement event takes place beginning at 2 p.m., Sunday, June 8, Rochester Riverside Convention Center, 123 East Main Street, Rochester, N.Y. 

College alumnus Robert Johnson ’86, philanthropist, community activist and former owner of Bob Johnson Chevrolet, will give the commencement address. He also will be presented with the Citizen Laureate Award.

Degree candidates and 2014 recipients of the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence recipients Lori Mould and Mark A. Rider will provide remarks on behalf of their classmates.

Mould will be sworn in as the president of the SUNY student assembly on May 27, 2014. She is the first Empire State College student ever to lead the student assembly and will represent all 463,000 SUNY students on the board as the student trustee.

The Rochester event honors students educated at the Alfred, Batavia, Canandaigua, Corning and Irondequoit offices.

Audrey Lynch, the contact for the event, can be reached at Audrey.Lynch@esc.edu, or 585 224-3267.

About New York City

The first of the college’s New York City commencement events takes place beginning at 6 p.m., Thursday, June 12, Alfred Learner Hall, Columbia University, 2920 Broadway, New York City, N.Y.

College alumna Deborah Gregory ’86, author of the best-selling “The Cheetah Girls” book series, will give the commencement address. She also will be presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Tara Maldonado, the contact for the event, can be reached at Tara.Maldonado@esc.edu, or at 646 230-1278.

This New York City event honors students educated at the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island offices.

About New York City and the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies

The second of the college’s New York City commencement events takes place beginning at 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 13, Alfred Learner Hall, Columbia University, 2920 Broadway, New York City, N.Y.

The second New York City event honors students who also are apprentices of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 3, the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 1, paraprofessionals represented by the United Federation of Teachers, and other students who are educated at the college’s Center for Labor Studies.

Jennifer Bent, the contact for the event, can be reached at Jennifer.Bent@esc.edu, at 646 230-1474.

About Long Island

The college’s commencement event for Long Island takes place beginning at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 14, Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville, N.Y.

Alumna Marian Conway ’01, ’04, New York Community Bank Foundation executive director, will give the commencement address.

Degree candidate Vickie Moller will provide remarks on behalf of her classmates.

The Long Island event honors students educated at the Old Westbury, Hauppauge and Riverhead offices.

Clara LaPort, the contact for the event, can be reached at Clara.LaPort@esc.edu, or at 516 997-4700.

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