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A Message from President Carolyn J. Stefanco: June 2019

Saint Rose President Carolyn J. Stefanco

Our 2019 commencement ceremony was a special day, not only for the nearly 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students whose achievements were recognized, but for me as a college president. I was proud to have an esteemed colleague in higher education, Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), serve as our honorary degree recipient and commencement speaker, inspiring our graduates with her personal story of overcoming discrimination and bias as a young woman of color.
 
That young woman would go on to become the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate from MIT. She would receive important appointments by U.S. Presidents, and serve as the first woman president and first African-American president at RPI, but these things would not have happened without a significant amount of grit and determination paired with her incredible intellect. She told our graduating students that “Chance had made me an African-American female, a heritage I proudly embrace. I also saw that I had a choice here. I could give in to ignorance or persevere and pursue excellence.”
 
I appreciate the theme of chance vs. choice as I observe our students, many of whom are counted among underrepresented populations within higher education. They made the choice to pursue their education with the desire to create more options for themselves and their families. That day at commencement, I shook the hands of students whose families fell below the poverty line, who are parents and toted toddlers on their hips as they crossed the stage, and who are older students who returned to Saint Rose to finish degrees they had started long ago.
 
I am so glad all of these graduates made the choice to come to Saint Rose, and I know their time here will serve as a springboard to endless possibilities. As I told our 2019 graduates, “Never doubt the value of what you have earned through your determination. Your degree is yours forever and will pave the way for your future.”
 
We appreciate your continued support of Saint Rose as we work to help our students build bright futures.
 
Best wishes,
 
Carolyn

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Celebrating Nearly 1,400 New Alumni

Students wearing caps and gowns at commencement

Nearly 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students had their degrees and certificates recognized at the 96th annual commencement on May 11 at the Times Union Center.
 
A crowd of more than 5,000 people watched, while nearly 2,000 more viewed the ceremony via livestream from their homes. Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the speaker and honorary degree recipient, recounted her experiences as a college student, where there were few students of color, particularly women students of color, in her physics classroom.

Read about the 96th annual commencement here.

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Retiring Music Professor Michael Levi Leaves Behind Long Legacy

Saint Rose professor Michael Levi conducting choir at commencement

The College’s 96th annual commencement was the 21st and final for Music Professor Michael Levi, conductor of the Saint Rose Chamber Choir, who retired after the Spring semester.
 
Levi joined the Saint Rose faculty after 30 years of teaching public school, and he brought his real-life experiences as a music educator to students who aspired to do the same. He also drew upon knowledge of diverse learning styles as he worked with countless students at Saint Rose and helped to foster a culture focused on personal growth and teamwork.
 
“We don’t encourage competition among students,” Levi said. “We have very few problems with divas or egos. Our students understand that to sing or play in an ensemble, you have to give up some of yourself for the good of the group. The end product is better, and we are better as human beings.”

Read more about Levi here.

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Saint Rose Magazine for Spring 2019 Is Out: Did You Get Your Copy?

Saint Rose Magazine for Spring 2019 fanned out on a table

The first edition of the Saint Rose Magazine in several years landed in mailboxes in late May. If you would like to receive a copy, but didn’t, please let us know.
 
And don’t forget you can check out the videos and other content online.

Access it all on the online version of the Saint Rose Magazine.

The next print version of Saint Rose Magazine will be coming to your mailbox in December, but we’ll continue to post new stories on the magazine website throughout the year.

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