SUNY Morrisville graduates celebrate during first in-person commencement in three years

Published date
3 p.m.

MORRISVILLE, NY — SUNY Morrisville graduate Patrick Jarrett is grateful for many things. Among them — the opportunity to follow his calling to help others.

It’s something beloved to the Mount Vernon, New York resident, who grew up in an impoverished area in Westchester County, where homelessness and poverty was the normal. 

“I want people to know there is a whole world out there,” said Jarrett, whose goal is to become a therapist and advocate for those in similar circumstances. “Just be your best self, work hard and never give up on your dreams.”

Today he took one more step toward fulfilling his own dream, receiving a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology during SUNY Morrisville’s commencement ceremony.

He celebrated alongside family and friends, the college’s first in-person ceremony in three years, which celebrated the Classes of 2022, 2021 and 2020. 

Cheering grads on were family, friends and proud faculty and staff. SUNY Morrisville President David Rogers was joined by Interim Academic Officer Jason Zbock, school deans and members of the College Council in presiding over the ceremony, which began with the Syracuse Scottish Pipe Band leading graduates into the formal commencement exercises.

The stage was adorned with ferns and flowers grown and arranged by students in the college’s horticulture program. 

“What you have done is not easy, with immense challenges brought on by a global pandemic,” said student speaker Tendaji Ya’Ukuu, president of the college’s Student Government Organization (SGO). “All of the opportunities are what have prepared us for rewarding careers, professional projects and lives.”

Jarrett took advantage of all SUNY Morrisville had to offer, immersing himself in activities, including leading the Campus Activities Board, as a member of SGO and as a resident assistant. He excelled academically, earning dean’s and president’s list recognition and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  

“Graduation means so much to me,” he said. “Morrisville helped me grow and transform into the person I want to be.” 

“However you define your success and happiness; know you already have the tenacity, dedication and passion for accomplishing anything you want,” Ya’Ukuu said in their parting words to fellow graduates.