May. 20, 2013

Commencements Recognize 1,191 Undergraduates


GENESEO, N.Y. -- SUNY Geneseo completed another school year by conducting two commencements Saturday for 1,191 undergraduate students.

SUNY Geneseo Distinguished Teaching Professor of English Ronald B. Herzman addressed the Class of 2013 at both ceremonies and drew upon insight from writers such as Dante and Shakespeare as well as friends and family in advising the graduates to look outside of themselves for success.

"Before you take too much credit for your own accomplishments, remember that what we accomplish throughout our lives depends on so much that is outside of ourselves, on the favorable circumstances that we happen to walk into, on the accumulated wisdom that we piggy back onto, on the innumerable people known and unknown to us who have helped us," Herzman said.

Herzman also said that Geneseo had become "a more global institution in a palpably more global world... which means that the web of your responsibilities has widened. You are now as accountable for third-world problems as you are for first-world problems."

(Visit the 2013 commencement photo gallery.)

This was President Christopher C. Dahl's last commencement as president of the college. He announced his retirement earlier this spring. In heartfelt comments at the ceremonies, he declared himself an honorary member of the Class of 2013 since he also would be departing the college. He advised the graduates to harness the power of their Geneseo education.

"Never before has the kind of education you get at Geneseo been so needed in the world," Dahl said.

Representatives from the College Council, including Chair Robert Wayland-Smith and council members Eddie Lee and A. Gidget Hopf, surprised President Dahl with the presentation of a proclamation and a framed photograph of a campus landmark to recognize his 18 years of service as president of Geneseo.

The college conferred an honorary doctor of humane letters upon Russell A. Peck, the John Hall Deane Professor of English at the University of Rochester. Peck is one of the world's leading scholars of Middle English literature and a leader in digital humanities.

Senior orators were Allison Hoppe, a political science and international relations major, at the morning ceremony, and Audrey Schiffhauer, a mathematics/adolescence education major, in the afternoon.

The Richard Roark Award recipient was Hayley Martin, a biology major. The award goes to a graduating senior whose excellence in scholarship and community service exemplifies the qualities that were important to the late Geneseo anthropology professor.

The Student Association President's Cup Award went to Josephine Lukito, a communication and political science major. The award goes to the graduating senior who exemplifies service and dedication to the Student Assiciation and the Geneseo community.

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