For the first time since May 2019, a SUNY Sullivan graduation was held inside the Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. Their 58th commencement ceremony, held last Saturday afternoon, celebrated 211 …
For the first time since May 2019, a SUNY Sullivan graduation was held inside the Paul Gerry Fieldhouse. Their 58th commencement ceremony, held last Saturday afternoon, celebrated 211 graduates.
As is tradition, festivities began earlier that morning with a pinning ceremony recognizing graduates of the college’s nursing programs. This year, a total of 52 nursing and respiratory care program graduates received their pins.
Attendees of the main ceremony were treated to the wise words of guest speaker, Hon. Josephine Victoria Finn, the Vice Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents whose impressive resume also includes having spent over two decades as a Village of Monticello Justice and 13 years teaching at SUNY Sullivan.
“You have to have a vision …,” said Finn. “One of the things they taught me in Bethlehem Temple was where there is no vision, the people perish.”
Finn then talked about reflection, saying it was a good thing, however, “You can think about stuff all day long [but] it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t do something,” adding that reflection plus action equals transformation.
“You’ve learned how to do that . . . your action and your reflection is what got you here . . . you obviously have what it takes to win,” said Finn.
While Saturday’s commencement was a celebration, Finn reminded graduates that things happen in life that can knock them down.
But she told them when they do, try to fall on their backs because, “If you can look up, you can get up.”
Finn said she wanted them to remember the time they spent up in “these woods,” and how even with obstacles like a pandemic, they persevered.
Also delivering remarks were SUNY Sullivan President Jay Quaintance, SUNY Sullivan Vice President for Student and Academic Affairs Marc Singer, SUNY Sullivan Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Nancy Hackett, NYS Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, Sullivan County Legislature Vice Chair Michael Brooks and SGI Buddhist Leader John Christian Plummer. Legislator Ira Steingart was also present and partook in the ceremony.
In addition to the celebration of graduates, Quaintance, Hackett, and Singer presented 2022 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence to Daneryl Weber, Associate Professor, Liberal Arts, Sciences and Health Sciences (Excellence in Teaching); Jeanine Nielsen, Associate Professor, Liberal Arts, Sciences and Health Sciences (Excellence in Adjunct Teaching); Brent Wilson, Head Men’s Basketball Coach and Assistant Director of Athletics (Excellence in Professional Service); and Robert Psarudakis, Registration Database Specialist (Excellence in Classified Service).
A full list of SUNY Sullivan student academic and athletic award recipients can be found on the college’s website.
Nichole Connal, a Liberty High School alum, was the class speaker. Connal, who also served as this year’s student representative on the college’s board of trustees, was honored at Saturday’s ceremony as a recipient of a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.
“These past years have been rough for us all, in several ways. Some of us entered this school during the online period, others waited to be back in person to complete their degree, but all of us have at least one thing in common. Despite the challenges we might have faced, we are all here today,” said Connal.
“With this diverse community here at SUNY Sullivan we have all walked on different paths that led us to this shared one,” Connal continued. “You all are prime examples of what defines SUNY Sullivan, and I know that you should all be proud of your accomplishments.”
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