SUNY Oneonta held its 2021 Fall Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 5, in the Dewar Arena of the Alumni Field House. Hosted by college President Alberto Cardelle, the event recognized students who are expected to complete their requirements for graduation this semester. Students who completed graduation requirements in May or August 2021 were also invited to participate in the ceremony.
Nearly 300 students were recognized during the festivities, which included the traditional Pass Through the Pillars event on Saturday afternoon. All first-year students official join the SUNY Oneonta community the night before classes begin by walking between the historic pillars of Old Main, the college’s first building, toward a welcoming crowd. The tradition comes full circle when the graduating seniors walk the opposite way through the pillars with friends, family and faculty cheering them on -- away from the hub of campus and into the next phase of their lives.
During the fall commencement ceremony, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Richard Lee welcomed the students and their families and friends. Keith Jones, presiding officer of the faculty; Gabrielle Cecere ‘22, Student Association President; and Patrick E. Brown ‘78, College Council Chair; offered congratulatory remarks. President Cardelle presented the address to the graduates, and Provost Lee conferred the degree. Luke Sheridan, a 2020 SUNY Oneonta graduate and Alumni Association board member, delivered the alumni greeting.
During his address, Dr. Cardelle thanked graduates for doing their part this semester to ensure the health of the campus community. Despite current global challenges, he said, “the reality is that the world is still becoming a better place.”
“Be the solution,” Dr. Cardelle encouraged the graduates. “Keep doing your best to be a part of those solutions.”
The Catskill Brass provided musical selections for the event, the Leatherstocking District Pipe Band performed the processional, and Miguel Isbirian ’21 sang the national anthem and alma mater.