Class of 2010 Celebrated at Hartwick Commencement

May 30, 2010

May 29, 2010 was unforgettable, especially for the members of the Hartwick College Class of 2010, their families, and the faculty, staff, alumni, friends, and peers who helped them toward the culmination of their undergraduate experience.

Thousands convened under the tent on Elmore Field to celebrate the students' accomplishments, to watch them receive their degrees, to take part in their final ceremony as undergraduate students--and their first as Hartwick College alumni.

The celebration began as all such Hartwick gatherings do, when President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich held aloft the Hartwick Bell and declared with an enthusiastic ring, "The company of scholars has assembled, let the ceremonies begin!"

Following an invocation from College Chaplain Susan Nesbitt and a performance of America by the Hartwick College Wind Ensemble, Student Senate President Dominique Thomas '10 and James Elting, M.D., Chair of the Hartwick Board of Trustees, extended their congratulations to the graduates.

"We are not the same people leaving Hartwick that we were when we arrived," Thomas said to her classmates. "The lessons we learned and the knowledge we gained will help us to be well-rounded people in the world away from Hartwick."

"Class of 2010," Elting said, "you have the best wishes of the Board of Trustees, and we encourage you to enjoy this day."

Hartwick Faculty Chair and Professor of English Dr. Kim Noling presented Dwayvania Miller '10 with the Abraham L. Kellogg Oratorical Prize. Faculty deemed her the best orator among those students who gave Baccalaureate speeches on Friday evening at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center in Oneonta.

After a lively performance of a Leroy Anderson's "Bugler's Holiday" performed by the Wind Ensemble, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Michael Tannenbaum took the podium to present the Margaret B. Bunn Award for Outstanding Teaching.

The annual award is presented to the faculty member judged by students who graduated five years earlier to have been the most outstanding teacher with whom they studied. The 2009 Bunn Award recipient, Tannenbaum announced, is Professor of English Susan Navarette.

Since coming to Hartwick in 1999, he noted, Navarette has earned a reputation as an engaging, exciting and effective teacher.

"She is known to her students for her colorful and enthusiastic teaching style," he said, noting that the title of one of Navarette's first courses at Hartwick was titled "Unruly Women."

In retaking the podium, Drugovich presented the President's Medal for Extraordinary and Exemplary Loyalty to the College to Henry L. Hulbert, Esq H '10.

Hulbert, Trustee Emeritus of Hartwick, has had a lasting impact on both the College and the community, she said.

"The example you have set for Hartwick students and Oneonta citizens alike is an inspiration," said Drugovich." Your leadership inspires all of us to 'look up' and expect more of ourselves and others; to seek out greater engagement with our communities; to identify and support in meaningful ways those enterprises that we most value; and to maintain an unwavering commitment to carry on the work entrusted to us by others."

Elting and Drugovich then conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws upon the ceremony's keynote speaker, William V. Campbell H'10. Campbell, known as "The Coach of Silicon Valley" has held key leadership positions in world-changing technology companies like Apple and Intuit.

"I am a product of a liberal arts education," Campbell said. "I love to learn. What you have experienced here at Hartwick is remarkable. What is next for you is your life, not your career. My advice, for what it's worth, is to follow your passion. It's your life - don't let your career drive you, let your passion drive your life.

"There is no moment like this moment," he continued, "and this is your opportunity to seize it. You have a phenomenal education from one of the great liberal arts schools. Hartwick College has given you the tools, but it is up to you to live your life. Go out and conquer the world. Congratulations."

At the ceremony's summit, Tannenbaum presented the Class of 2010, and Drugovich conferred degrees upon the candidates. As each left the stage, Director of Alumni Relations Duncan Macdonald '78 presented seniors with a replica of the Hartwick Bell. The gift from the Alumni Association symbolized the new graduates' induction into the vast community of Hartwick alumni and is a reminder of the impact the institution has had on their lives.

Neil Miller '72, Vice President of the Hartwick College Alumni Association, welcomed new alumni graduates to the 15,000-strong body.

"Thirty-eight years ago I sat here as you do on Elmore Field," he said. "As you leave today, you will be in transition from Hartwick College to a whole new life. You hold in your hand a replica of the Hartwick bell. Put this in front of you as you grow and as you look at it remember what Hartwick meant to you over these last four years, and what you can mean to Hartwick as an alum."

He led the class in a ceremonial ringing of their bells, and the tent filled with the joyous noise of the new alumni.

Jessica Layton '10 presented the class gift. Seventy-one seniors made gifts to the College, which will be used to establish the Class of 2010 Scholarship. The four-year award will be presented to an incoming first-year student based on need.

In her closing remarks, Drugovich said, "you leave Hartwick an educated woman; an educated man. You have done many remarkable things, and you may have learned a thing or two you never expected."

She led the class in thanking both their parents and their faculty, noting that all had helped the graduates achieve this important milestone in their lives.

Following the Wind Ensemble's performance of the Alma Mater, "Oyaron, Hill of Dreams," the graduates left the expansive tent behind the celebratory march of the Broome County Celtic Pipes and Drums, proceeding into the May sunshine and the waiting arms of their proud families, and toward their bright futures as Hartwick College alumni.

View more Commencement Weekend photos here.

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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: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030