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SUNY Cobleskill Celebrates Class of 2023 at 105th Commencement

SUNY Cobleskill marked its 105th Commencement Saturday, officially conferring degrees upon more than 470 graduates of the Class of 2023. Graduates represented more than 50 baccalaureate and associate degree programs across agriculture and technology disciplines.

“This is an extraordinary class who experienced the unimaginable during their formative years, and yet, they did it through kindness, patience, and resilience. They gave us permission to do what was necessary for them to remain on campus and to learn by doing. No other contemporary generation will be as equipped as they are to comprehend the power of disruption,” said Dr. Marion A. Terenzio, President of SUNY Cobleskill. “We thank them for their unprecedented and unwavering determination to allow themselves, the faculty, and staff to turn barriers into opportunities. Now, their futures await them.”

In addition to celebrating the academic achievements of students, the College also awarded an honorary SUNY Doctorate of Fine Arts to Greg Neri.

Neri has authored 16 books for young people, ranging from novels and graphic novels to picture books and poetry for grades 3 to 12. His works cover a wide array of topics, from urban fiction to music biographies, but what connects them is that they are all inspired by true life. His 2011 novel “Ghetto Cowboy,” inspired by the real-life inner-city horsemen of Philadelphia and Brooklyn, became the Netflix film “Concrete Cowboy,” starring Idris Elba. His books have been translated into multiple languages in over 25 countries.

The honorary doctorate is the highest form of recognition offered by the State University of New York to persons of exceptional distinction, in this case, celebrating Neri’s contributions to young adult literature, encouragement of diverse voices in popular storytelling, and efforts toward emphasizing scientific exploration through artistic expression. 

In his address to the Class of 2023, Neri encouraged graduates to say “yes” to life and to unexpected opportunities.

“Saying ‘yes’ has changed my life,” said Neri. “‘Yes’ is about taking chances, about creating something that wasn’t there before, about building something new. ‘Yes’ takes courage; courage to be open to life, to learn something new, to take a chance by saying ‘yes’ to the unknown. By the mere fact that you all are sitting here today, I know you said ‘yes,’ too. ‘Yes’ to going to college. ‘Yes’ to learning. ‘Yes’ to raising yourselves up to a higher standard. ‘Yes’ to sticking it out. You took a chance and opened yourself up to new possibilities. That takes courage, graduates.”

The student speakers for this year’s Commencement, selected by a committee through a competitive nomination process, were Deborah Lobo and Alyssa Klouse, both Canine Training and Management (Bachelor of Technology) graduates.

 

 

 

 

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