Point of Pride #50 - Commencement

November 10, 2019

Since our first Commencement in 1969, more than 23,000 students have earned their associate degrees or certificates from Herkimer County Community College. We take great pride in celebrating the achievements of our graduates with a traditional ceremony filled with pomp and circumstance.



With the exception of the very first Commencement, which took place prior to the campus being built, the College’s ceremonies have all been held on campus. A procession led by bagpipes and a Commencement speech delivered by a graduating student are just a couple of the traditions followed through the years.

Following the ceremony, Commencement attendees enjoy a reception while sharing hugs and fist bumps, and posing for pictures.

There are many folks who help make the annual Commencement a special and memorable occasion for our graduates and their guests. From the Registrar’s office staff who meet with every student to review their academic record and ensure they meet degree requirements; to the facilities workers who set up the gym and make the campus look extra beautiful; to the food services employees who prepare the reception; to Campus Safety staff who direct traffic and ensure event security; to the many faculty and staff who help direct and greet guests, assist grads with robing and line-up, and keep the ceremony running smoothly. And behind the scenes is a Commencement Committee that no sooner closes the books on one graduation, than is back at it again planning for the next one.

Although graduation day marks the end of our student’s time at Herkimer College, we prefer to refer to it as Commencement, as it is the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of our graduates. The majority of our graduates continue their educations at four-year colleges and universities, while many grads are prepared to begin their professional lives. Regardless of what’s next, Commencement is a special day for our grads and their families, as well as for all of us here at Herkimer College who work diligently each and every day to ensure our students meet their educational goals.