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Commencement 2008 -- SU's 154th Commencement exercises May 11

May 02, 2008

Sara Miller
315 443 9038

Sara Miller

In its 154th Commencement, Syracuse University will celebrate the graduation of 2,739 bachelor's, 1,652 master's and 115 doctoral degree candidates. In addition, six associate's degrees and 124 certificates of advanced study will be awarded. The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in its 111th Commencement exercises, will confer 300 bachelor's degrees, 60 master's degrees and 41 doctoral degrees.

SU's College of Law will hold a separate ceremony Sunday, May 18, at 1 p.m. at the Carrier Dome, celebrating the conferral of 227 juris doctor degrees. Stephen L. Tober '71, L'74, will deliver the College of Law Commencement address.

On Sunday, May 11, the joint SU and SUNY-ESF Commencement exercises will begin at 9:30 a.m., with class, school and college marshals leading degree candidates into the Carrier Dome.

The academic procession will follow, with Nancy Weatherly Sharp, professor of newspaper journalism in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, heading the procession that includes University Marshal Sandra N. Hurd, SU associate provost and professor of law and public policy in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management; Associate University Marshal Shiu-Kai Chin, interim dean of the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science and professor of computer engineering; the newly named emeriti faculty; current faculty; administrators; academic deans; members of the Board of Trustees; and the ROTC Color Guard.

The Chancellor's party will include SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor; SUNY-ESF President Cornelius B. Murphy Jr.; Commencement speaker Bob Woodruff; the honorary degree recipients and their sponsors; Board of Trustees Chair John A. Couri; SUNY-ESF Board of Trustees Chair Daniel T. Fitts; and Walter J. Bobkiewicz III, president of the SU Alumni Association.

SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina will preside. The Rev. Thomas V. Wolfe, dean of Hendricks Chapel, will deliver the invocation, and Bridget Moriarty, a master's degree candidate in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will sing the national anthem. Cantor, Murphy and Bobkiewicz will then offer remarks.

Cantor and Spina will confer honorary degrees upon Woodruff, John Allan Couri '63, Jacques D'Amboise, Edith Marie Flanigen G'52, Lynn Margulis, Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, Paul A. Volcker, Robert Wedgeworth and Martin J. Whitman '49. A Syracuse University Scholar will speak on behalf of the group, and Woodruff's address will follow.

Cantor and Murphy will then confer doctoral degrees upon SU and SUNY-ESF candidates, followed by the conferral of master's degrees and certificates of advanced study.

Spina will recognize SU Class of 2008 Marshals Katherine E. Chillscyzn and Ryan A. Kelly, 12 University Scholars and three SUNY-ESF Scholars.

Cantor and Murphy will then confer associate's and baccalaureate degrees.

Jessica Kluck, a graduating senior from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will conclude the ceremony with the singing of the alma mater. The SU Brass Ensemble, under the direction of James T. Spencer, professor of chemistry in The College of Arts and Sciences, will provide processional music.

Class marshals

Seniors Chillscyzn, a child and family studies major in the College of Human Services and Health Professions, and Kelly, a dual advertising and marketing major in the Newhouse School and the Whitman School of Management, will lead the procession of graduates. To be selected a class marshal is among the most prestigious honors at SU, awarded on the basis of academic achievement, involvement in student organizations, and campus and community service.

Chillscyzn, of Freehold, N.J., was named a Remembrance Scholar for 2007-08 and each semester has been a dean's list student. During her SU experience, Chillscyzn has been active with a variety of campus organizations and has taken on several leadership roles, including serving as a mentor orientation leader and staying active with the Phi Sigma Pi Honors Fraternity and SU's Student Association. She also has given her time to the University Judicial Board/Peer Education Team and served as an OrangeSeeds peer mentor.

Outside of campus, Chillscyzn has volunteered with L'Arche, an organization that works with mentally and physically handicapped individuals in a variety of settings, and she interned with Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center, working in the admissions department of their facility for the physical rehabilitation of older adults.

Chillscyzn's post-graduation plans include working within the competitive Teach For America program, which is the national corps of college graduates of all academic majors who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools. In addition to teaching mathematics in Philadelphia through Teach For America, she will dually be working toward a master's degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania.

"I am extremely excited to be a 2008 class marshal," Chillscyzn says. "It is such an honor to be chosen as a representative for the entire 2008 senior class. I am looking forward to leading my class into graduation and I am thrilled that I was able to help select our Commencement speaker. This has been such a wonderful opportunity and an experience that I will never forget."

Kelly, of Bath, Pa., has also embraced several campus leadership roles. Most visibly, Kelly served as president of the Student Association in its 51st session, leading the active student group that represents the interests and needs of the entire student body with regard to the University's activities, policies, rules and regulations. He was also an active SA member prior to becoming president and has also served on the University Senate and as a student member of the SU Board of Trustees.

Kelly was a co-coordinator for the fall 2006 lecture by Al Gore and also for the campus visit by former Mexican President Vicente Fox. A member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program, Kelly is also a Beta Gamma Sigma member, Remembrance Scholar and Newhouse Scholar. He participated in the competitive GE Leadership Program, and also received the CEO Scholarship to work for a summer in advertising sales at CourtTV in New York City.

As for plans after graduation, Kelly is considering positions in advertising, marketing and communications.

"The class marshal was one of the most significant honors I have ever received," says Kelly. "Representing such an intelligent and talented class is a task not to be taken lightly. Being chosen really shows that if you put your mind to it and you have perseverance, you really can achieve your goals. Syracuse University has afforded us the opportunity to pursue our dreams, and for that I am forever thankful."

School/college marshals

Marshals for each of the University's schools and colleges have also been selected to lead the procession of graduates from each school or college into the Commencement ceremony. They are:

Graduate School
Miriam Michelle Gillett-Kunnath of Liverpool (College of Arts and Sciences). Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs
Jie Dai of Taizhou City, China, a master's student in international relations and economics.

The College of Arts and Sciences
Roslyn Esperon of Canfield, Ohio, an art history and English textual studies major; Thomas P. Hackman of Delmar, N.Y., a political science, economics and policy studies major; and Dana M. Roberts of New Britain, Pa., a Spanish and communication sciences and disorders major.

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Amanda Kuchman of Rochester, a communications design major, and Munjal Yagnik of Bhopal, India, a film/drama major.

College of Law
Rafiel Deon Warfield of Springfield, Mo.

L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science
Anna D. Prusch of Schenectady, N.Y., a chemical engineering major, and Nicholas Stowe of Jamesville, N.Y., a mechanical engineering major.

School of Education
Christina Jade Valerino of Weedsport, N.Y., an inclusive elementary education major, and Laura Woomer of Palmyra, Pa., a social studies education and history major.

School of Information Studies
Dowayne D. Davis of the Bronx, an information management and technology major, and Benjamin John Maljovec of Warren, Pa., an information management and technology major.

Martin J. Whitman School of Management
Jaclyn Forcier Casavant of Kennett Square, Pa., a marketing and advertising major, and Sarah C. Leahy of Saugerties, N.Y., a marketing and advertising major.

S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Stephanie H. Rivetz of Dix Hills, N.Y., a television-radio- film and Spanish language, literature and culture major, and Joseph David Wieder of Mayfield Heights, Ohio, a political science and public relations major.

School of Architecture
Brian A. Huber of Macungie, Pa., and Richard S. Morgan of Millstone Township, N.J.

College of Human Ecology
Suzanne M. Grassel of Dix Hills, N.Y., a sport management and magazine journalism major, and Laura Manelta Lanigan of Pittsford, N.Y., a nutrition major.

University College
Jon Anthony Mitchell of Syracuse, a professional studies major.

Daniele M. Baker of Hollidaysburg, Pa., an environmental biology major, and Christopher Schalk of Lancaster, N.Y., an environmental science major.

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