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The Class of 2023 celebrates the turning of the tassels at the 100th Commencement. Photo by Mike De Socio.

Haitian-born business student Sciorra Christiana Saint Louis ‘23 spoke little English when she first came to Saint Rose, but she persevered. Today, Saint-Louis is among more than 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students conferred at the College’s 100th Commencement on Saturday, May 13 at the MVP Arena in Albany.

Saint-Louis, an international student, received a Bachelor of Science in business administration and will graduate with an MBA, also from Saint Rose, in the fall. In the future, she plans to pursue a doctorate in economics and work in the finance industry.

“Graduating means a lot to me, as it’s a testament to my parents’ sacrifices and dedication to ensure I had access to the best education possible despite facing numerous hardships,” Saint-Louis said. “It’s [also] an opportunity to honor my family and my country, and to be a role model for my younger sister, who will be starting her college journey at The College of Saint Rose this fall.”

Many students had eyes full of tears at commencement, but were excited as they shared their enjoyment of their graduation with their friends and families. College president Marcia White gave a heartwarming speech, congratulating the class of 2023 on persevering through a pandemic. “Your class is the best, your class is exceptional, and your class is what we celebrate today!” White said to cheers from the graduates and their families.

The College also honored the tragic loss of two members of the Class of 2023 earlier this school year with the presentation of posthumous degrees at the ceremony. The families of business major and men’s lacrosse player Matt Frankel and computer science major Jack Sinnott accepted the degrees on their behalf.

Saint Rose alum and co-president of MasterCard’s Asia/Pacific region overseeing Asia and Australia, Hai Ling ’93, delivered the commencement address. Ling reminded graduates to dream big and be consistent in chasing their dreams. “Cherish the treasure of surprises in life, but never, ever let uncertainty prevent you from taking action,” he advised the graduates. “Failing is a way to learn; failing gets us closer to the truth.”

Like Saint-Louis, many other alums hope to do great things after graduating. Warrick Mitchell, a dual degree student from Brooklyn who earned his bachelors and masters in business administration, is headed to work in taxation and real estate with a real estate company he has interned for since 2020. “The [Saint Rose] community was very loving and kind,” he shared. “That’s what I’ll miss overall.”

Francesca Melendez, a graduate from Manhattan, earned her MSED in special education. She’s currently choosing from a number of offers and still conducting interviews for positions at local school districts in Albany. Melendez will teach seventh through 12th grade social studies and special education.

“My time here at Saint Rose is coming to an end,” Melendez said, “but it has been an amazing five years.”