QUEENSBURY — The SUNY Adirondack commencement ceremony on Saturday stressed resilience and overcoming obstacles, as the first class forced to have an online graduation tuned in to celebrate.
SUNY Adirondack President Kristine Duffy called the Class of 2020 “the extraordinaire” for the uncommon circumstances in which they’ve had to take classes this spring and finish their degrees. The college stopped in-person classes on March 11 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and has continued them online.
Duffy brought up the suffering caused by the pandemic, saying “2020 hasn’t been perfect,” but despite the canceling of so many things, added “hope hasn’t been canceled” and pointed to the ability of this year’s class to obtain their degrees despite obstacles.
Deysi Bollinger of Saratoga Springs, graduating with a business administration degree, was the student speaker, and she talked about her journey from a Native American village in the mountains of Peru to an orphanage at age 10 to Saratoga Springs after she was adopted by a local family and, after a lot of work and a lot of help, to her graduation. Her goal is to become a certified public accountant.
She credited teachers and advisors at SUNY Adirondack with helping her figure out what she was good at and helping her to catch up with her classmates and excel.
More than 600 students, including those who completed their degrees in December and May and those who expect to in August, were part of the ceremony.
Each name was read and displayed on the screen. Some students put up quotations alongside their names, and some put up video clips of a few seconds.
Kristina Johnson, SUNY chancellor, and U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer appeared on screen and made brief speeches, followed by supervisors from the sponsoring counties, Warren and Washington.
“The 2020 graduates will be part of history, not yet written but surely studied,” Duffy said, at the end of the ceremony. “The 2020 extraordinaires will stand out in all of our minds.”
Will Doolittle is projects editor at The Post-Star. He may be reached at email@example.com and followed on his blog, I think not, and on Twitter at @trafficstatic.
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