For Immediate Release
May 12, 2017
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Brockport Celebrates Graduate Commencement
Outstanding achievements recognized during 67th Graduate Commencement Ceremony
BROCKPORT, NY—More than 200 students were honored, challenged and inspired during The College at Brockport, State University of New York, Graduate Commencement Ceremony on May 12 inside the Special Events Recreation Center.
Kenneth O’Brien delivered the commencement address. O’Brien has devoted his career to higher education, having been an associate professor in Brockport’s Department of History since 1970. He is currently on assignment as a faculty fellow in the SUNY Provost’s Office. Additionally, he has served as president of the SUNY Faculty Senate and as a member of its Board of Trustees. As a product of public education himself, O’Brien took the opportunity to remind the latest products of public higher education of its societal value. O’Brien went on to congratulate the graduates for becoming one of just 12 percent of American citizens who have earned advanced degrees.
“It has been your talent, your grit, and your effort that made the difference, allowing you to come one of the 12 percent,” O’Brien said. “While the rest of us could facilitate, you did the heavy lifting.”
Brockport President Heidi Macpherson also spoke of the grit and determination necessary for these students to reach their goals.
“Many of our students have part- or full-time jobs and a large proportion of them have families. And yet, they maintain high academic standards,” Macpherson said. “Thus throughout their academic career with us they have learned—sometimes the hard way—about time management, budgeting, prioritizing tasks, and what to do when carefully laid plans go awry. These are the skills, graduates, that will continue to serve you well into the future.”
Cara Rae Johnson, who received a master’s degree in school counseling, was the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Scholar Award, which is given to a master’s student graduating with a minimum GPA of 3.85, an outstanding record of scholarship or creative activity, and strong evidence of professional promise.
In addressing her fellow graduates, Johnson shared a Mary Oliver poem and offered the following reaction: “May you continue to not only recognize, but also honor your ‘voice’ as you stride through this transition ‘deeper and deeper into the world’ of serving your chosen field, serving others, and serving the truest and, thus, most beautiful parts of yourself and your soul.”
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu