PLATTSBURGH, NY (12/13/2009)(readMedia)-- Hugs and tears of joy were the order of the day today as approximately 400 students crossed the dais during SUNY Plattsburgh's Winter Commencement Ceremony.
The event featured Kristy Lynn Curry as the student speaker. The marketing major, who graduated magna cum laude, talked about the changing world, nation, community and college.
She reminded students of the dramatic changes that took place while they were at school, including wars, recession and the election of the first African-American president.
She also reminded students of how they came together last March to speak out against intolerance at a rally that drew more than 500 students to the Warren Ballrooms. She quoted from SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling's speech at that rally, calling it a time for "student groups from across the campus to gather to disavow hatred and to celebrate tolerance, compassion and love."
She said she felt instances like this represented the thoughts and feelings of the faculty, staff and students at the college. "We pride ourselves in love and acceptance."
Curry ended her speech by asking students to carry the torch forward, making the world a better place.
"Congratulations to all of you, and, as you leave this college today, become that agent of change that is inside each one of you."
Ettling presided over the ceremony, with Interim Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs Patricia Higgins presenting the candidates for degrees. College Council Chair Arnold Amell, a 1953 graduate of SUNY Plattsburgh, and Vice Chair M. Catherine Hollinshead awarded the diplomas.
The event featured music by the Adirondack Bass, Champlain District Bagpipe Band and Cardinal Singers.