Herkimer County Community College’s 43rd annual Commencement was held Friday, May 20 in the gymnasium of the Physical Education building. Degrees were conferred upon the Class of 2011 by President Ann Marie Murray, with assistance from Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael McCaskey and Dean of Students Matthew Hawes. There were 640 candidates for the associate degree and 46 candidates for certificates.
U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna, R-Barneveld, delivered the Commencement address entitled “Securing our Future.” The student address, “Impossible is Nothing,” was given by graduate Mary Katherine Maneen, a Communication Arts: New Media major from Frankfort, New York. Maneen said, “Some of us have had to overcome many obstacles to achieve our goals. With the support and guidance from the faculty and staff, our obstacles have been embraced and accepted and our most challenging goals turned into accomplishments. That’s the beauty of Herkimer College. No obstacle is ever too big, no challenge ever goes unnoticed, and no goal is out of reach… Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration, it’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
The invocation and benediction was given by Reverend Chris J. Wintermute, First Baptist Church of Little Falls. NYS Senator James L. Seward, NYS Assemblyman Marc W. Butler, Herkimer County Legislature Chairman Raymond Smith and Herkimer College Student Government President Robert Drumm, Mohawk, brought greetings to the Class of 2011.
Receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching was Steven Mezik, Assistant Professor of Biology. Mezik was appointed to the faculty in 2001. The SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service was awarded to Susan Tripp, Director of Financial Aid. Tripp began her employment with Herkimer in 1982.