SUNY Geneseo Celebrates the Class of 2024

grad holding diploma

Commencement 2024 (SUNY Geneseo photo/Matt Burkhartt)

On Saturday, May 18, SUNY Geneseo held its 158th Commencement, conferring more than 800 degrees before a capacity audience of family, friends, faculty, and staff.

President Denise A. Battles addressed the graduates, and Andrea Holland ’01, an executive coach, leader, and speaker, gave the commencement keynote, encouraging graduates to know themselves.

“Let’s not forget that life will serve you opportunities so delicious, so fulfilling that they may terrify you,” Holland said. “Yes, they will be so interesting, so electrifying, so curious that you will question, ‘Can I really do this? Am I crazy to say yes or no?’ And it is then that you must dare to know yourself—your values, your story, your identity, your goals, your limits, your fears—in order to make decisions that will alter the trajectory of your life, that will transform latent potential into powerful reality.” 

Honorary degrees were awarded to two SUNY Geneseo alums. Jackie Dycke Norris ’92 received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for her commitment to education and public service. Norris has extensive experience as a high-level government aide, in nonprofit organization leadership, and education. Bruce Himelstein ’76 received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree in recognition of his marketing leadership and service to the travel and hospitality industry. Himelstein is an accomplished brand and corporate strategist, speaker, and consultant.

The senior orator at the morning ceremony this year was Katlin McNeil ’24, from Canandaigua, NY, who double majored in history and English with a minor in medieval studies. Aman Manghi ’24 from Mumbai, India, an economics and finance double major, spoke at the afternoon ceremony.

Receiving the Richard Roark Award this year was Alexander C. Michaels ’24, from Wynantskill, NY, who majored in biochemistry with minors in biomathematics and College Honors. The Roark Award is presented to a graduating senior whose excellence in scholarship and community service emulates Roark, a former Geneseo professor of anthropology who was presumed drowned off the island of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies.

Madison Bragg ’24 from Buffalo, NY, who majored in accounting with a minor in marketing, received the Student Association President’s Cup, given annually to a graduating senior who exemplifies superior service and dedication to the Geneseo Student Association

Watch our Commencement video

Watch videos of the morning ceremony and afternoon ceremony

Read President Battles’ remarks


Robyn Rime
Senior Writer & Editor
(585) 245-5529