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Patrick Hooker, New York State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, to Speak at Morrisville State College Commencement May 17

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.--Patrick Hooker, New York State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets and Morrisville State College alumnus, will be the keynote speaker at Morrisville State College’s 97th commencement ceremony May 17.
Hooker, New York’s 26th Agriculture Commissioner, has responsibility for overseeing the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, including addressing agricultural economic development, environmental stewardship and food safety issues.

Previously, Hooker worked as Director of the Public Policy Division for New York Farm Bureau. He has also worked in the State Legislature as the Rural Affairs Advisor for the State Assembly Minority Leader and as the Director of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee.

Hooker graduated from Morrisville State College in 1982 with an associate degree in Agricultural Science. During his time at Morrisville, he was named to the Dean’s List, elected student representative to the College Council and was inducted into the college’s Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

He also received a bachelor of science degree in Agricultural Education from Cornell University.

“It is an honor to be invited to give this year’s commencement address. So much of what I have achieved could not have been possible without Morrisville State College,” Hooker said. “My classes and the professors that taught them, the clubs and advisors who dedicated their time, the opportunities that were presented to me, and the people and friends I met, have all been influential in my personal and professional successes. I am truly humbled to be part of this important milestone in the lives of this year's graduating class.”

“As an alumnus of Morrisville State College, Pat Hooker represents the success that our graduates aspire to achieve,” Dr. Ray Cross, Morrisville State College president, said. “I am thankful for his ongoing support of the college and am very happy to welcome him back to campus.”

Hooker and his wife, Karen, have two children, Erika and Mitchell. They own a 360-acre farm in southern Herkimer County, where they grow hay, keep horses and produce maple syrup.

Morrisville State College’s commencement ceremony will take place on Drake Field on the Morrisville State College campus at 1 p.m., weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place in the John W. Stewart Center for Student Activities.

For more information about the college’s commencement exercises, visit

Morrisville State College offers more than 75 bachelor and associate degrees and options
Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college was the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine.

The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus offers associate degree programs in accounting, business, computer systems technology, office administration, liberal arts transfer, nursing, early childhood, criminal justice and human services to south central New York residents and employers. Students may also apply coursework to other associate or bachelor degrees at the main campus.