50th Annual Commencement
Congratulations to the Class of 2018!
Herkimer County Community College held its 50th annual Commencement on Friday, May 18 in the varsity gymnasium. There were 431 candidates for associate degrees and 16 candidates for certificates. This year's class included 69 students who completed their degrees entirely online through Herkimer College's Internet Academy.
Student Government President Brendan Murphy, of Whitesboro, NY, delivered greetings to his fellow graduates. "Today graduates, you step with both feet into a seemingly boundless world with such vastness and nearly infinite directions to travel...where do you go, what do you do with your life now? When you made the choice to walk through the doors of Herkimer College you started a growth process and when you chose to stay, regardless of the challenges ahead of you, you continued that process," said Murphy.
Student speaker Moo Toh Taw, of Utica, NY, was the selected student speaker and addressed fellow graduates and guests with her speech entitled "Embrace Change – Make Your Mark." A refugee and first generation college student, Taw's message reflected on themes of dedication and overcoming adversity. Taw said, "I know how difficult this is for many people where English is not their first language, like many of my fellow classmates we have to continually encourage one another; we have to be there for each other. Although our skin color may be different, it is our drive and determination that matters and we can be successful if we continue to encourage and help one another."
Special awards presented included: SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service - Donald Dutcher '90, Director of Athletics, SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching - David Higgins, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence - Brendan Scott Murphy, Business Administration and Emma L. Vanderwerken, Human Services and SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar Athlete Award - Chyanna Paige Bernier, Criminal Justice, Mikayla Marie Blumenstock, Criminal Justice: Cybersecurity and Shannon Marie Moore, Business: Sports & Recreation Management.
President Cathleen McColgin said, "Regardless of your goals coming to Herkimer, there is no doubt you leave Herkimer with valuable new skills and a greater awareness of the world. You have learned to overcome challenges, be independent, manage your time and be self-disciplined. Many of you have developed and honed your leadership skills and you have grown personally through participation in cultural, civic and social activities. Most importantly, you have met your academic goals, and prepared yourselves for the future."