Welcome to St. Lawrence University's 2010 Commencement ceremonies.
* A total of 539 degrees were awarded at the May 16 ceremony. There were 514 candidates for bachelor's degrees (192 Bachelors of Science and 322 Bachelors of Arts) and 25 candidates for master's degrees.
* The five most popular majors this year are, in descending order:
In 2009, the top five in descending order were psychology, economics, government, English and mathematics.
* The senior with the highest cumulative grade-point average over four full years of study at
St. Lawrence is Benjamin D. von Reyn, of Williston,Vermont; his GPA is 3.968 (out of a possible 4.0).
* Students who studied abroad during their St. Lawrence career wore pins with flags of many nations on their gowns today. Just over 50 percent of the class sported the pins, which seniors hope will become an annual tradition.
* The traditional Commencement ceremony taking place today is a uniquely American custom. Therefore, students from other countries who have spent the year or the semester studying at St. Lawrence are invited to participate, to witness this annual custom and acknowledge their academic experience here. Participating this year is Nozomi Fujita, of 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 of today's candidates will receive degrees from relatives:
- Troy Lassial, receiving a master's degree from his father-in-law, Special Advisor to the President Thomas Coakley
- Kayla M. Cheney, bachelor's degree awarded by her father, Duane Cheney, skilled trades professional
- Andrew Cochran, bachelor's degree awarded by his father, Trustee George Cochran
- Siobhan Fitzgerald-Cushing, bachelor's degree awarded by her mother, Assistant Professor of Education Alannah Fitzgerald
- Ariana Puentes-Hernandez, bachelor's degree awarded by her parents, Associate Professor of Performance and Communication Arts Traci Fordham-Hernandez and Counselor Daniel Hernandez
-Drew Weaver, bachelor's degree awaded by his grandfather, Chair Emeritus of the Board of Trustees Larry Winston '60
* Platt Wheeler '44, of Fayetteville, N.Y. (retired principal of Fayetteville-Manlius High School), was unable to attend graduation with his class and actually receive his degree in person, because he was called to serve in World War II. He is married to Marilyn Merrill, St. Lawrence Class of 1945. He finally got the chance to walk on stage today, in cap and gown, and join the Class of 2010, which includes his grandson, John Manning, who has earned a degree with a double major of economics and chemistry.
Manning, of Boxford, Massachusetts, is the latest in a family of another 35 or so St. Lawrence graduates. His sister, Maryn, is in St. Lawrence's Class of 2012. Collectively, the family funded the restoration of the chapel in Atwood Hall to honor St. Lawrence University’s Sesquicentennial in 2006.
The first members of the family to graduate from St. Lawrence were Platt Wheeler's parents, who both graduated in 1915.
May 16, 2010