Valedictorian Christine Ward Speaks at Cazenovia College Commencement Ceremony

Palatine Bridge, N.Y., education major receives multiple awards for outstanding performance

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Valedictorian Christine Ward, on stage at Cazenovia College’s 188th Commencement Ceremony, with Dr. Donald A. McCrimmon, the College’s dean of academic affairs.

CAZENOVIA, NY (06/13/2013)(readMedia)-- Christine M. Ward, of Palatine Bridge, N.Y., graduated from Cazenovia College summa cum laude, on May 18, 2013, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in inclusive elementary education, with a minor in international studies. She was valedictorian of the Cazenovia College Class of 2013. A graduate of Canajoharie Central Schools, in Canajoharie, N.Y., Ward plans to pursue a Master's degree at the University of Pittsburgh before beginning her career in education.

Cazenovia College President Mark Tierno, in introducing Ward prior to her commencement address, said, "This student has a drive not only to succeed and to communicate with those near and far, but also to explore the world, as her minor in International Studies demonstrates."

In her valedictory address, Ward told her classmates, "Our world is not perfect and we might not be able to change the whole world starting from the top. But we can help initiate change by educating ourselves, our students, our children, and our peers to be better citizens."

Ward received the Cazenovia College 1824 Scholarship, the Catherine McFarland Hamberger Endowed Scholarship, and the Emerson Scholarship during her career at Caz. She has been well-known at the College for her academic achievement and extensive leadership and service to her campus family and the wider community.

An All-College Honors student, she has been on the Dean's list every semester. She earned the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences Academic Excellence Award at commencement. She also earned the 2013 Student Life Award, and the 2013 Stephanie F. Leeds Award for All-College Honors, as well as the "Key to Our Success Award" in recognition for her outstanding service to Residence Life at Cazenovia.

She is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta, the National Honor Society for First-Year Students, and a recipient of the society's Leader-Scholar Award, given to student leaders with a GPA of 3.75 or higher. She is a National Certified Student Leader, and a member of the Sigma Alpha Pi National Student Leadership Society, receiving the Society's Academic Excellence Award and "Leadership in Action" award.

Ward served as a Peer Mentor and tutor to incoming freshmen, and was a Master Student for Associate Dean Tim McLaughlin's First Year Seminar course, "Race, Rights, and Resistance," and a co-presenter for the College's Great Minds, Great Ideas Lecture Series. She has been active on campus in the Education Club, was a Project REACH Peer Mentor, a Phon-a-thon caller, and a member of the women's volleyball team and the College golf team. She served as a member of the Residence Life staff for three years, one year as a Resident Advisor and two as Head Resident Advisor, and was an active student participant in the College's recent Middle States Commission on Higher Education re-accreditation process.

In her farewell to her classmates, she said, "The class of 2013 will leave behind a legacy of friendship, advocacy, hard work and accomplishment. I am proud to be a member of the Cazenovia College Class of 2013 and I wish the rest of my class the best in all that you do."

Photo: Valedictorian Christine Ward, on stage at Cazenovia College's 188th Commencement Ceremony, with Dr. Donald A. McCrimmon, the College's dean of academic affairs.

Cazenovia College, founded in 1824, is an independent, co-educational, baccalaureate college near Syracuse, N.Y., offering a comprehensive liberal arts education in an exceptional community environment, with academic and co-curricular programs devoted to developing leaders in their professional fields. Cazenovia, named one of "America's Best Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report, is also a national College of Distinction. For more information, visit

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