CANTON-- SUNY Canton celebrated the accomplishments of approximately 964 new graduates at the College's 105th Commencement Ceremony Saturday morning in the amed Roos House.
"Upon graduation, you will have opportunities to take risks," SUNY Canton Interim President Carli C. Schiffner said to the 2013 graduating class. "Make new connections and consider moving from familiar surroundings and landscapes. This is an exciting beginning - go for it. Don't be idle."
This will be Schiffner's final commencement at SUNY Canton. She will step down May 31 to become vice president of instruction at Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State.
Joseph C. Hoffman will begin his tenure as SUNY Canton acting president June 1.
The senior class address was given by SUNY Canton's Student Government Association President Nafeesa Johnson. She is graduating with a baccalaureate degree in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement Leadership and is a representative for the agricultural and technical colleges on SUNY's Student Assembly. She is also a member of the SUNY Canton College Council.
"The roads that we walk on are never easy, so we must pave the way for those who come after us," Johnson said to her fellow classmates.
"Many of us sit here as sons and daughters, mothers and fathers and veterans who have risked their lives for our great nation, but most of all we sit here today as graduates. Throughout my time at SUNY Canton many people have played a part in the person I am today."
Johnson presented the annual Northstar Award to Assistant Professor Christa K. Kelson. The award is determined by the student body to recognize a faculty or staff member.
Kelson teaches accounting and was selected for her kindness and helpfulness as a faculty member and adviser. She is an avid supporter of student activities and athletics.
Other honorees at commencement included:
• Megan M. Mydosh, a Business Administration major from Warwick, who received the Outstanding Graduate Award at the associate level.
• Zachary J. Smith, an Industrial Technology major from Lisbon, who received the Outstanding Graduate Award at the baccalaureate level. Smith also was a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.
• John Payne Jr., a Sports Management major from Manchester, N.H., who received the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence and the Chancellor's Scholar Athlete Award.
• Ashley A. Abeling, a Dental Hygiene major from Perth, who received the David R. Maynard Student Activities Award.
The top five bachelor's degrees awarded, listed in order of popularity, were Criminal Investigation, Management, Finance, Nursing and Legal Studies.
The top five associate degrees with the most graduates were Criminal Justice, Nursing, Liberal Arts, Veterinary Science Technology and Business Administration.
Yesterday, the graduating students from SUNY Canton's Nursing programs were recognized at pinning ceremonies. Nearly 100 students are graduating and becoming registered nurses or licensed practical nurses.
Additionally, 28 cadets graduated from the David Sullivan - St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy. Eight of the cadets were students from the Law Enforcement Leadership program who enrolled as part of their final semester of classes.