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Alumni to Deliver 2019 Commencement Keynotes

Laurence Spring and Jeri Muoio

Laurence T. Spring '92; Jeri Muoio '69, Ph.D. (Images provided)

Geneseo’s commencements will feature keynotes by Laurence T. Spring ’92 and Jeri Muoio ’69, Ph.D. The graduate ceremony is Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m. in Brodie Hall’s Alice Austin Theatre, where the College will confer master’s degrees in education and accounting. The undergraduate ceremonies are Saturday, May 18 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena. Two ceremonies are required for the undergraduate ceremony to accommodate the large number of graduates and guests.

Master’s Ceremony

Laurence T. Spring ’92 will deliver the master’s ceremony keynote, “Beyond Yourself: Leading to a More Equitable Future.” Spring is the superintendent of the Schenectady City School District (SCSD) in Schenectady, NY.

The cornerstone of Spring’s work is to ensure equity and prevent race, economics, and disability from being predictors of student achievement. He has steered the design of a variety of programs to address student needs and close the opportunity gap. These include addressing the academic and social-emotional needs of at-risk students, creating a four-week summer enrichment program, and establishing a crisis prevention team of mental health professionals to respond to mental health emergencies. He was a force in bringing the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) to Schenectady, which ensures that all students receive free breakfast and lunch every day.

Spring has presented at the national level on topics that include childhood poverty, food insecurity, social-emotional programming, and mental health issues. He has written articles on the effects of poverty and provides commentary on education issues, school funding practices, discrimination, and inequitable funding.

Spring previously served as superintendent of the Cortland Enlarged School District. He has more than 20 years of experience as a school administrator and teacher, including serving as an assistant superintendent, director of learning, assistant principal, and social studies teacher. Spring earned a bachelor’s degree in history with secondary education certification from SUNY Geneseo and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Rochester. He is currently pursuing a doctorate.

Bachelor’s Ceremony

Addressing both of the undergraduate ceremonies will be Jeri Muoio ’69, Ph.D., who served two consecutive terms (2011–2019) as the mayor of the City of West Palm Beach, FL. Muoio will speak about “The Power of Purpose.”

As mayor, Muoio established the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Climate Change. West Palm Beach earned a 4-STAR rating from the sustainability STAR Community Rating System and a SolSmart Gold by the U.S. Department of Energy for advancing solar energy growth.

Muoio also created the Office of Public Life to make sure public spaces are people friendly. Her team made the city more bikeable, walkable, and pedestrian friendly. West Palm Beach is also a leader in assuring equality for LGBTQ employees and has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Council’s Municipal Equality Index.

Muoio previously served as assistant director of the Urban Special Education Leadership Collaborative where she worked with urban schools on school reform. She also worked in a number of NYS schools, including serving as the assistant superintendent in the Chappaqua School District and the Fayetteville-Manlius School District. Muoio, who began her work in schools as a school psychologist, was also the director of Pupil Services in the Mexico School District and director of Special Education in the Liverpool School District.

Muoio earned a bachelor’s degree in library science and psychology at SUNY Geneseo, a master’s degree and certificate of advanced study from SUNY Oswego, and a doctorate from Syracuse University in education leadership.

A member of the graduating class addresses fellow graduates at commencement. This year, Angela Kubik ’19, a biology major from Commack, N.Y., will address the morning ceremony. Sabrina Bramwell ’19, an English major from Bronx, N.Y., will address the afternoon ceremony.



Monique Patenaude, PhD
Director of Media Relations
(585) 245-5056