SUNY Canton held its 114th Commencement Ceremony for approximately 750 members of the class of 2022 Saturday, May 14.
College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill, Class of 1963, opened the ceremony by asking graduates to reflect on the examples and lifelong friendships they have made.
“There has never been a graduating class in our school history quite like yours,” he said. “While the pandemic was unexpected and unwelcome, by going through it together, it has created a bond that I hope will carry you into this new phase of your life.”
President Zvi Szafran welcomed the audience and led a moment of silence for SUNY Canton Professor Edouard Mafoua, Ph.D., who passed away unexpectedly in March. Mafoua taught Economics in the Business Department and was a 17-year employee of the College.
“Edouard will be fondly remembered for his passion for teaching, sharing his knowledge, and dedication to his students and the college,” the president said.
Szafran expressed his pride in this year’s class, which includes graduates who range in age from 19 to 64 years old and represents 18 US states and seven countries, including Cameroon, Canada, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and the UK.
He continued by introducing two recipients of Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence: Jenna C. VanAllen a Veterinary Science Technology graduate from Blossvale and Charliann R. Friedman, a Veterinary Technology graduate from Schenectady. He also congratulated:
- Tiffany L. Hobby, an Applied Psychology graduate from the Bronx, is the recipient of the Norman R. McConney Jr. The Award for Student Excellence, a statewide honor that recognizes scholars in the Educational Opportunity Program.
- Zion Sankey, a Sports Management graduate from Troy, the David R. Maynard Student Activities Award recipient.
SUNY Canton Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Student Courtney B. Bishop then introduced this year’s outstanding graduates Katlynn M. Allen, a Physical Therapist assistant graduate from Malone; Cassidy Asiamah, a Criminal Investigation graduate from the Bronx; and Bryan J. Levy, a graduate of the Mechanical Engineering Technology program from Wappingers Falls.
Student Jonah R. Black, Class of 2023 and President of the Student Government Association, addressed the graduates and reminded them all that they have accomplished during unusual circumstances.
“The unexpected transition to online learning was not easy, but you are all stuck with it to the end,” Black said. “Take the motivation and determination that you’ve shown through your time here at SUNY Canton, and fight for what you deserve and never settle for.”
The top three bachelor’s degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Health Care Management, Nursing, and Criminal Investigation. The top three associate degrees were awarded Nursing, Veterinary Science Technology, and Individual Studies.
Additionally, graduates from the college’s one- and two-year nursing programs were recognized at special pinning ceremonies held earlier in the week.
As career-driven bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs for Northern New York’s premier college, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in engineering technology, management, and healthcare fields. It is home to the Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Faculty members are noted for their outstanding professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY’s leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos compete on 15 traditional athletic teams at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.