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SUNY Canton Celebrates Class of 2020 at In-Person Ceremony

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SUNY Canton welcomed members of the class of 2020 back to campus Saturday, May 8, for its 112th Commencement Ceremony. 

Isabela Spelta joins the recessional at the conclusion of the college’s 2020 Commencement Ceremony.

SUNY Canton Civil and Environmental Engineering Technology graduate Isabela Spelta of Victoria, British Columbia, joins the recessional at the conclusion of the college’s 2020 Commencement Ceremony held May 8, 2021.

Only graduates and college officials were present at the event, which followed New York State guidelines on capacity, mask-wearing and COVID testing. The ceremony was live-streamed on the SUNY Canton website for families and friends to watch online.

College Council Chair Ronald M. O’Neill, class of 1963, opened the ceremony via video message by telling the graduates they share a special bond due to the difficult circumstances under which they finished their final semester.

Brayden White stands on stage for a photo with SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran and Provost Peggy DeCooke

Brayden White, a SUNY Canton Legal Studies Graduate from Akwesasne, stands on stage for a photo with SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran and Provost Peggy A. DeCooke.

“Being a member of the class of 2020 is like being part of an exclusive club. No one has -- or will have -- the same college experience,” O’Neill said. “Cherish your friendships and support one another in this new phase of your lives. I encourage you to stay connected with the college by attending reunions and homecomings. There are better days ahead and more memories to make.”

Vincent VanBrocklin of Watertown flips his tassel to signify that he has graduated at SUNY Canton’s 2020 Commencement Ceremony.

Vincent F. VanBrocklin of Watertown flips his tassel to signify that he has graduated at SUNY Canton’s 2020 Commencement Ceremony. VanBrocklin, who is active-duty military, traveled from Fort Campbell Kentucky for the ceremony with his wife and fellow graduate Taylor K. VanBrocklin of Canton.

SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran gave special recognition to those who were essential workers, volunteers or military members during the past year. To the rest of the graduates, he challenged them to use the knowledge they have acquired to help their communities in the months ahead.

“As a SUNY Canton student, you have been taught to analyze and problem-solve,” Szafran said. “These skills won’t be valuable just to your career, but to society as well. The pandemic has changed all of our lives. How you respond will change the future.”

He then introduced two recipients of the outstanding graduate awards: Noelle M. Niemiec, a Health and Fitness Promotion major from states Staten Island, and Adam S. Petric, a Business Administration major from Toronto. Michael E. White, a Sports Management major from Staten Island, was recognized as the recipient of the David R. Maynard Student Activities Award.

Tyler Bowman has his graduation picture taken by Cristina Fenner of Cristina Fenner Photography.

2020 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence Recipient Tyler R. Bowman of Gouverneur has his graduation picture taken by Cristina Fenner of Cristina Fenner Photography. Graduates could remove their face coverings for a photograph at SUNY Canton’s 2020 Commencement Ceremony.

In the senior class address, Student Government Association Vice President Anthony Figueroa, class of 2022, praised the graduates for their resiliency.

“You have faced so much adversity over the past year,” Figueroa said. “You were forced to figure things out a little earlier than expected, while trying to stay safe at the same time. This made everything ten times harder than it already was, but you made it. You made it because you are strong and determined.”

A recording of the event, as well as a special commencement video, can be viewed on the Commencement Video 2020 webpage.

An in-person ceremony for the class of 2021 is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 15, in the college’s Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center. Only graduates and college representatives are permitted to attend, and the event will be live-streamed.

 

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.