NEWS & EVENTS
Commencement Honors Class of 2012, Families & FriendsMay 26, 2012
Saturday, May 26, marked one of life's turning points for the Hartwick College Class of 2012, their parents, families, friends, and College faculty and staff gathered under the gala tent on Elmore Field. It was there that the 312 members of the class made the transition from students to alumni in the culmination of their undergraduate experience.
More than 1,000 convened high atop Oyaron Hill to celebrate the students' accomplishments, to watch them receive their degrees, to take part in this celebration of transition.
The gala event began as all such Hartwick gatherings do, when President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich held aloft the Hartwick Bell and declared with an enthusiastic ring, "In the words with which we convene each Commencement ceremony: the company of scholars is assembled, let the ceremonies begin!"
Following a performance of The Star Spangled Banner by the Hartwick College Wind Ensemble, Student Senate President Eric Rodgers Schultz '12 and James Elting, M.D., Chair of the Hartwick Board of Trustees, extended their congratulations to the graduates.
"Hartwick has not been our shore, it has been our ship," Schultz said to his classmates. "Without her we would not have set out on the next adventure, and perhaps it is not the destination that will matter or the next destination after that. It is the long journey that has made me who I am, and it is the long journey full of treasures and wonder, despair, hope, and challenge that I am thankful for. I wish you all the very best. May our voyages all be long."
"It is my privilege to welcome you on behalf of the Trustees of Hartwick College," Elting said, "Congratulations, graduates. Enjoy this day, it is yours."
Hartwick Faculty Chair and Professor of Sociology Dr. Reid Golden presented Mark Blazek '12 with the Abraham L. Kellogg Oratorical Prize. Faculty deemed Blazek the best orator among those students who gave Baccalaureate speeches on Friday evening at Foothills Performing Arts & Civic Center in Oneonta.
After a performance of a Gustav Holst's The Dargason by the Wind Ensemble, Provost and Vice President for 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 prior to have been the most outstanding teacher with whom they studied. The 2012 Bunn Award recipient, Tannenbaum announced, is Associate Professor of Education Dr. Mark Davies.
Davies came to Hartwick as in 2002, having earned his BA in liberal studies at Stockton State College and a master's and doctor of education at Rutgers University. He was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 2008. His teaching at Hartwick focuses on the areas of courses, curriculum, and instruction, and in teaching methods in social studies.
"Mark strives for excellence in his teaching," Tannenbaum said. "His classroom is characterized by inquiry, discovery, critique, discussion, and understanding. Students are excited by the dynamic learning environment as Professor Davies pushes them to look deeply into the issues covered in the course."
In retaking the podium, Drugovich presented The President's Medal In Recognition of Enduring Support of Hartwick College to Dr. Frank E. Perrella '50 H'93 PM'12.
"Businessman, philanthropist, father and friend, Hartwick recognized you in 1993 by awarding you an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters," she said. "Today we acknowledge our continued gratitude for all that you have given and done to assure and advance the educational mission of the College. Your leadership is an inspiration to us all, and Hartwick will always be proud to count you as one of its own."
Drugovich also presented a posthumous President's Medal in Recognition of the Enduring Impact of Leadership to John W. Johnstone Jr. '54 H'91 PM'12, which was accepted by his wife, Claire Johnstone, and son, Robert Johnstone.
"Scientist, inspired businessman, dedicated servant, today the Hartwick College community is proud to honor Dr. John W. Johnstone Jr. for his lifetime of devotion to his Alma Mater," she said. "A man of significant physical and symbolic stature, John left us a legacy of leadership that will serve as a beacon for generations to come."
Drugovich presented The President's Award for Liberal Arts in Practice to Dr. Carol J. Woodard '50 H'91 PA'12.
Hartwick College's President's Award for Liberal Arts in Practice recognizes a member of the College community who demonstrates his or her commitment to bringing theory and practice together to generate new knowledge and understanding; continually develops his or her capacity for critical thinking, ethical action, and reflection; seeks to build a deeper understanding of similarities and differences across time and space; values and applies diverse approaches to building knowledge; expresses the significance and importance of individual and collective actions; encourages others to take inspiration from the products of human ingenuity; maintains a passion for learning; nurtures creativity; has made meaningful contributions to present and future communities; and honors others--while encouraging others to do the same.
"Like a wave traveling along the phase boundary of a fluid, you have spent a lifetime translating for others the lessons you learned on Oyaron Hill, and they have passed it on," Drugovich said. "Dr. Woodard, through your work in education, publishing and philanthropy, you embody the ideals of critical thinking, experiential learning, and service to humanity inherent in a Hartwick education."
Professor of Sociology Katherine O'Donnell and Drugovich then conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters upon Frances P. Sykes P'96 H'12.
"You made positive change through your [Hartwick] Board [of Trustees] service, you were unwavering in your resolve to shepherd the College toward an even brighter future. Your informed insights and robust convictions benefited many with whom you served," O'Donnell said. "You live your belief that a sound infrastructure is essential for building a sustainable future, whether that infrastructure is within a person or a building. Your contributions to Hartwick as a Trustee are recalled and respected still."
Retaking the podium, Drugovich introduced 2012 Commencement speaker Kathy Palmer Ordoñez '72 H'00. Ordoñez is Senior Vice President for Discovery and Development at Quest Diagnostics and President of Celera. At Quest Diagnostics, the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, she manages the innovation pipeline and reducing cycle-time to introduce new tests and technologies. For Celera, a company that is synonymous with sequencing the human genome, Ordoñez drives the firm's focus on personalizing disease management through diagnostic products and services, including Berkeley HeartLab.
Examining her career from Hartwick College graduate to an executive at the top firms in the field of biotechnology, Ordoñez advised the Class of 2012 to live with intellectual curiosity and integrity.
"I will never forget when I first saw the beauty inside the mystery of quantum mechanics," she said. "Now I draw from the resultant familiarity with probabilities in understanding genetics and solving business problems in a world I couldn't imagine when I was sitting here at my graduation 40 years ago. The promise of the career I have so enjoyed and one of the best friendships of my life were each made possible because of the years I spent here on the hill preparing for my future ahead.
"Graduates, I urge you to find your own way, but to do it with passion and integrity as you continue to grow into that special person you will ultimately become," Ordoñez continued. "I will leave you with a quotation from Warren Buffet, the great entrepreneur and businessman, who said, 'In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence and energy. If they don't have the first, the other two will kill you.' Speaking from personal experience, learned at great expense in my own career, I can tell you that Warren Buffet is dead right. Without integrity, we have nothing at all that matters.
"I urge you to leverage the knowledge and the art of learning that you have mastered during the last four years with initiative and your imagination, but most of all, to do this with integrity. As you say these days at Hartwick: to live with creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and personal courage. These are small words with big meanings that will shape your lives. Graduates, I salute you for your great achievements and I wish you the very best in life. I'm sure you will approach your future with passion and integrity, because as graduates of Hartwick, that's who we are."
Following a performance of Stevie Nicks' "Landslide," by senior guitarist Kyle May '12 and vocalists Kristina Allen '12, Stephanie Cadwell '12, Anna Drake '12, Kristyn Knapp '12, Jessica Lane '12, Brittany Maquet-Lambert '12, Bianca Tubolino '12, Lauren Wetzel '12, and Lindsay Wynne '12, Tannenbaum presented the Class of 2012.
In the central moment of the ceremony, Drugovich presented each with a degree, much to the delight of the graduates and their assembled friends and family.
With degrees conferred, Holly Nicole Sayman '12 presented the class gift. Seniors, their families and friends made gifts to the College, which will be used to establish the Class of 2012 Scholarship. The four-year award will be presented to an incoming first-year student based on need.
"Congratulations Class of 2012 - we have finally made it!" she said. "As we spend today celebrating this significant milestone, I ask you to please consider the charitable individuals who have made our journey possible. I know I could not be here today without my sisters of Sigma Alpha Iota, my loyal friends, and my loving family. However none of us could have made it here without the dedicated faculty and staff, and all the other things that make Hartwick College what it is - a great place to learn, grow, mature, and understand the world. Hartwick College made me into the person I am today."
Neal Miller '72, President of the Hartwick College Alumni Association, welcomed new alumni graduates to the 17,000-strong body.
"Congratulations, graduates," he said. "You have worked long and hard to arrive at this point in your journey, and you are to be commended.
"Our alumni play a seminal role in Hartwick's evolution," Miller continued, "preserving the memories and traditions that define this exceptional institution. As the President of the Hartwick College Alumni Association, I have the pleasure of welcoming you to the alumni community and leading the tradition of the ringing of the Hartwick bell."
As he led the class in a ceremonial ringing of their replica bells, the tent filled with the joyous noise of the new alumni.
"Members of the Class of 2012, now you leave Hartwick an educated woman, an educated man," Drugovich said in her closing remarks. "You may have travelled across the world. You may have done a remarkable thing or two. You have probably learned more than you expected, and perhaps even more than you thought possible. It is my hope that what you have learned best is how to learn from others, for in truth no pinnacle moment is ours alone. This moment also belongs to those who cared for and nurtured you through your education and this experience."
She led the class in thanking both their parents and their faculty and staff, 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, by the Hartwick College Wind Ensemble and vocalist Peter Cody Fiduccia '12, 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.
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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 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