Baccalaureate, Pinning Ceremonies Celebrate Class of 2010

May 28, 2010

Setting the stage for a weekend celebrating the Hartwick College Class of 2010, graduates gathered May 28 for this year’s Baccalaureate ceremony. The celebration at Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center was the first of the weekend’s Commencement events.

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

“Each of you has a gift that becomes greater in the presence of another,” she told this year’s graduates, noting the gifts of music, art, verse, and curiosity and understanding they have shared with the Hartwick community. “Tonight, we come together to celebrate.”

Chosen by their peers to reflect on their Hartwick experiences, seniors Caitlin Strunk, Seth Lucas, Dee Miller, and PJ Prunty (above) also addressed their classmates. They shared stories of their four years at Hartwick, the adventures that await them, and the challenges they have faced and will face in the future.

“It’s hard to put into words what we’re all feeling right now,” Strunk said. “If you can think it up, you can do it. … The whole world is open to us, along with all the opportunities that come with it.”

“We sit here on the verge of Commencement, awaiting that which is next,” Lucas said. “We will carry with us on our separate journeys a pride for Hartwick.”

“You will not be disappointed if you fill your life with things that you love,” he said. “Today is the greatest adventure you will ever embark on, and we call it L-I-F-E: life.”

“The real challenge and true test lies ahead of us,” Prunty told his classmates. Over the past four years at Hartwick, he said, he has worn his grandfathers’ dog tags as a reminder to earn what they’ve given him.

Taking the podium last, Miller recounted her early days on campus—adjusting to a life in central New York after leaving her home in the Bahamas. From seasons that rotate on a 24-hour basis to never-ending fields and the equally never-ending walk up Oyaron Hill, she learned that “moving into a new culture did not mean I was losing my own cultural identity.”

Instead, she embraced the way she could learn from Hartwick, and the ways Hartwick could learn from her.

“I have learned to be true to myself while still opening my heart to the uniqueness of others,” she said. “I have learned that in life, you are never alone.”

Babcock Professor of English Susan Navarette, also chosen by the Class of 2010, addressed graduates as this year’s faculty speaker. In a speech that involved nods to the meaning—or lack thereof—of words like Tupperware, The Graduate, and even dinosaurs, she offered students words of parting wisdom.

“It is not till we are lost, till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves,” she said, quoting Henry David Thoreau.

This year’s musical selections were performed by graduates Holly Smith, Emily Gage, and Chris Guida, in addition to a brass ensemble led by Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Jason Leo Curley. Senior Brendan Walsh, winner of this year’s Anna Sonder Prize of the Academy of American Poets, read The Destination of the Body, the title poem from his senior thesis poetry manuscript. A slideshow of the Senior Art Exhibition, coordinated by Assistant Professor of Art Joe von Stengel, also was on display in the center’s atrium.

Following the ceremony, 27 Nursing students received their pins during a ceremony in Stack Lounge. Sharon D. Dettenrieder ‘65 also presented this year’s Distinguished Nursing Alumna award to Debra Wollaber '73, who also served as the event’s keynote speaker.

“I am so honored to receive this award,” Wollaber said upon taking the podium. After showing this year's nurses' photos of her own years at Hartwick, she thanked the 1973 classmates who traveled from across the country for Friday's ceremony. "I know, for a fact, that I would not have made it without those friends to lift me up when I was down."

"Your friends will be essential to your success," she said. "Keep them. Stay networked together."

Amanda Carvill ’10 also addressed her fellow graduates.

"None of this would have been possible without the love and support of each and every one of our classmates," she said. "I cannot express how grateful I am to have each and every one of you in my life."

Following the pinning ceremony, the evening wrapped up with 1 to Go, a celebration for the Class of 2010. Under a tent on Frisbee Field, the music 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 curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Jen Moritz
Phone: 607-431-4038