News & Events

Baccalaureate, Pinning, Celebration Kick Off Commencement Events

May 23, 2009

With excitement and anticipation leading up to Saturday’s Commencement ceremony, members of Hartwick’s Class of 2009 gathered May 22 for this year’s Baccalaureate ceremony. The celebration at First United Methodist Church was the first of the weekend’s events honoring this year’s graduates.

Addressing graduates, their families, faculty, and staff, President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich opened the ceremony with words of welcome and of celebration for the students’ accomplishments.

“We celebrate the richness of those diverse gifts that have taken root—that have found a home in our Hartwick community,” she said, naming leadership, music, art, verse, understanding, and inspiration as the characteristics recognized during the ceremony. “We’re celebrating the best of what we have come to know as Hartwick, through one another.”

Chosen by their peers to reflect on their Hartwick experiences, seniors Sandra Armakovitch, Benjamin Crosby, Nick Forst, and Samuel Roods (shown above) also addressed their classmates. They shared stories of their first visits to campus, time on Oyaron Hill, and lessons they’ve taken from their four years at Hartwick.

“We must be ready for anything, any role we come to fulfill,” Forst told his classmates. “Hartwick has prepared us for those roles. … We’ve been given the tools and the intellect to explore new worlds.”

“The world becomes your next creation,” Roods said. “Take some pride in what you’ve created, take some pride in yourselves, and most importantly, take some pride in Hartwick.”

Professor of Business Administration John Clemens, also chosen by the Class of 2009, addressed graduates as this year’s faculty speaker for Baccalaureate, sharing the words of journalist and past Harvard Baccalaureate speaker George Plimpton: “Don’t go!”

But, “tomorrow, you do go, and you must go,” he told graduates. “You have to, and you will always be going.” Thanking the students for choosing him “to have one last exchange of ideas before we part,” he encouraged them to take what they’ve learned in their time at Hartwick and begin their new journeys. “Yes, go,” he told them, “and make your lives extraordinary.”

This year’s musical selections were performed by Stephanie Wrona, Sahara Gay, and Kaitlin Esford. Christopher Pinto and Jennifer McArdle, winners of the Anna Sonder Prize of the Academy of American Poets, read two poetry selections, and artwork by Emily Gilbert was on display.

Following the ceremony, 24 Nursing students received their pins during a ceremony in Stack Lounge. During the ceremony, Nursing Alumni Committee President Claire Schaper ’58 also presented this year’s Distinguished Nursing Alumna award to Linda Reckhow Thomson ’72, who also served as the event’s keynote speaker.

“You’ve reached a milestone,” she told the graduates. “You will join the millions of nurses in this country, but only a few have a Hartwick education. … This is just a milestone, not a destination.”

Drugovich, senior Richelle Schmidt, Department Chair Jeanne-Marie Havener, and Nursing Alumni Committee member Professor Emerita Sharon Dettenrieder ’65 also addressed the Nursing graduates.

Following the pinning ceremony, the evening wrapped up with 1 to Go, a celebration for the Class of 2009. Under a tent on Frisbee Field, the band played into the night as graduates, their families and friends, faculty, and staff celebrated the students’ last night on the Hartwick campus.

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Jennifer Moritz
Phone: 607-431-4038