SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy has announced that SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan will be the keynote speaker at the college’s 99th Commencement Ceremony.
Commencement begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, in the Alumni Gymnasium in Dana Athletic Center.
“Chancellor Ryan has been a tremendous leader not only for the State University of New York system, but throughout his career,” said Kennedy. “SUNY Canton has benefited from his guidance and dedication. Our graduating students will benefit immensely from listening to such an accomplished professional.”
Recently, Ryan addressed the SUNY Canton College Foundation Board of Directors at a meeting in Naples, Fla., which was simultaneously broadcast at SUNY Canton. He highlighted the remarkable growth in the Foundation’s assets which grew from $1 million in 1993, to $5 million in 2004, to over $12 million in 2006. Since 2000, the SUNY Canton College Foundation has provided over $6 million in scholarships and other support.
Prior to becoming Chancellor, Ryan served as the president of the State University of New York Maritime College, the interim president of SUNY Albany, and was the former superintendent (president) of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
As president of SUNY Maritime, Ryan nearly doubled the number of students in just three years, resulting in the highest enrollment in Maritime’s 131-year history. He created the National Institute for Leadership & Ethics, which includes a summer institute for high school juniors and seniors, as well as undergraduate leadership training for Maritime students, and he established the President’s Circle Scholarship Fund, which includes numerous donors who have pledged $10,000 over four years for a named scholarship.
He is also a former U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and was decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit (with two gold stars), Meritorious Service Medal (with two gold stars), Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (with two gold stars), and other numerous service awards.
After designation as a naval aviator and assignments in several operational squadrons, Ryan’s naval career included numerous leadership positions in squadrons, wings, and forces that took him to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Ryan has accepted a position as president and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership, headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., and will be stepping down as chancellor at the end of May.
Ryan is married to the former Diane L. Ackerman of Bangor, Pa. They have three adult daughters: Tricia, Kelly, and Julie, and four grandchildren.