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Morrisville State College holds 98th commencement ceremony

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.— It was a decorated ceremony filled with crowd participation, intense cheers and praise and standing ovations—as Morrisville State College graduates celebrated their accomplishments alongside family and friends during the college’s 98th commencement exercises in the John W. Stewart Center for Student Activities on May 16.

Morrisville State College President Dr. Ray Cross was joined by Interim Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs, James Van Riper, school deans and members of the college council in presiding over the ceremony, which began with a 20-piece Scottish Bagpipe Band and herald trumpeters leading graduates into the formal commencement exercises.

Cross lauded the Class of 2009 for their achievements followed by Morrisville College Council vice chair Arnold Fisher of Hamilton, NY.

Speaker Malcolm Smith, New York State Senate Democratic Majority Leader, addressed graduates with a friendly question—“How do you feel?” drawing chants of excitement and steady applause.

In his first commencement address in his new position, an expressive Smith urged graduates to change the world.

“You are some of the brightest minds in this state,” he said. “I want you to always remember as you go forward—that you can change the world. You have the opportunity to do anything you want – this is your world.”

Smith encouraged graduates amid tough economic and environmental times being faced by the world today, to put their new ideas out there.

“This is the time when leadership is made,” he said.

To change the world, he asked graduates to take a moment to figure out who they are and what they want to do.

“You are going to be mentally, spiritually and socially challenged throughout life. When these moments come, know who you are,” he said.

“Life is going to change. You have to step up to this challenge. “Morrisville graduates, take command, take charge,” he said emphatically followed by a poignant standing ovation.

Armando Franco, president of the Student Government Organization (SGO), reminded fellow graduates that their journey doesn’t end with graduation.

“We begin a new one that holds much promise…we are capable of so much,” he said. “Imagine the mark we can make on the world.”

During the ceremony, several members of the college community were recognized. Dr. Robert Dushay of DeWitt, NY, associate professor of social science was awarded the Morrisville State College Distinguished Faculty Award; John Schuster, of Morrisville, NY, was awarded the Morrisville State College Distinguished Librarian Award.
Roxana Pisiak, of Clinton, NY, professor of humanities, was recognized for winning the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching; Jean Boland, of Canastota, NY, vice president for technology services, was recognized for winning the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service; and Mary Ellen Fearon, of Munnsville, NY, was recognized for winning the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

Graduating students Cynthia Ewing, of Morrisville, NY and Mathew Maxey, of Delhi, NY were recognized for winning the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence, a prestigious SUNY-wide award.

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.