The SUNY Cobleskill Class of 2017 graduated on Saturday, May 13, at the College’s 99th Commencement Ceremony with the charge to be “positive agents of disruption” by College President Marion Terenzio.

“Remake yourself and grow as the world changes,” Terenzio said. “Continue the SUNY Cobleskill tradition of thinking differently, learning differently, and become an agent of positive disruption.”

As the graduates go into the world to create their futures and “reject business as usual,” Terenzio asked them to keep in touch on their journeys.

“I await your stories,” she said.

During the ceremony, keynote speakers Dr. Judith A. St. Leger and the Honorable Christopher P. Gibson were presented with honorary doctorates from the State University of New York.

St. Leger, Vice President for Research and Science for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, urged the graduates to take an active role in their lives and the world around them.

“You can make a difference in your life, in your world, in the whole world, but you have to start by being involved today and every day,” she said. “Congratulations on your achievement — and may you have many, many more.”

Gibson, a former U.S. Congressman and current Visiting Professor of Leadership with Williams College, asked the graduates to take this time to “identify and clarify your values” and to live according to that vision.

“I know this is an anxious time. People are concerned about the state of the country,” he said. “Fear not. We will come through this. This is an incredible country with the world’s best people. We will come together, we will rally, and our best days will be in front of us — because I’ve got disruptors of change right here in front of me.”


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