Commencement Weekend 2009

A total of 494 degrees were awarded at today's ceremony. There were 444 candidates for bachelor's degrees; 40 candidates for master of education degrees; four candidates for a master of science in mental health counseling; and six Certificates of Advanced Studies in education were also granted.

* The five most popular majors this year were, in descending order:
- Psychology
- Economics
- Government
- English
- Mathematics

In 2008, the top five in descending order were economics, psychology, government, history and biology.

* The senior with the highest cumulative grade-point average over four full years of study at St. Lawrence is Dipesh Mainali of Nepal; his GPA is 3.941 (out of a possible 4.0).

* When Ross T. Ackley graduated in 2001, his mom had a medical issue that prevented her from being present as he crossed the stage to receive his bachelor's degree in anthropology. We allowed him a ceremonial walk across the stage today, so that both of his parents could witness that once-in-a-lifetime moment. He now works in Boston.

* The traditional Commencement ceremony which took place is a uniquely American custom. Therefore, students from other countries who have spent the year or the semester studying at St. Lawrence were invited to participate, to witness this annual custom and acknowledge their academic experience here. Participating this year are Kazuki Asana, Japan; Nese Hocaoglu, Germany; and Rei Kitano, Japan.

* It is a tradition at St. Lawrence for graduates to have the option of receiving their degree from family members associated with the University. Several candidates received degrees from relatives:
- Grant Currie, receiving a master's degree from his wife, Cathy Crosby-Currie, associate professor of psychology and associate dean of the first year
- Tonki Downs, receiving a master's degree from her husband, Chris Downs, head men's basketball coach
- Emily Maine, receiving a bachelor's degree from her mother, Anne Chism, executive secretary in administrative operations
- Rosa Rodriguez, receiving a bachelor's degree from her sister, Sahiry Rodriguez, coordinator of the McNair Scholars program
- Hannah Short, receiving a bachelor's degree from her father, William Short, director of the Higher Education Opportunity Program
- Jennifer Stowe, receiving a bachelor's degree from her mother, Wendy Stowe, senior clerk in admissions
- David Torres, receiving a bachelor's degree from his father Barry Torres, director of choral music, and his mother, Janet Torres, administrative secretary in academic advising

* Immediately following the Commencement ceremony, Erin Cook '09, of Akwesasne, was commissioned into the military, having participated in the Reserve Officers Training Corps program through Clarkson University. She was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Military Intelligence, United States Army Reserves, 479th Engineer Battalion, Watertown, New York.

Updated May 17, 2009

Photo Album

Speech Texts
President Daniel F. Sullivan:

Welcome Remarks
Honorary Degree Remarks
Richard Fairbanks '72
Carol Geary Schneider
Allen P. Splete '60
Larry Winston '60
Emily Rama '09
Katie Powers '09

Biographies of Honorary Degree and Citation Recipients
Daniel F. Sullivan '65
Allen P. Splete '60
Carol Geary Schneider
Alumni Scientists
Ann H. Sullivan
Lawrence J. Winston '60
Sally Winston
Betsy Wilson