Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, The City University of New York’s first new community college in more than 40 years, celebrated its second commencement on June 17. The commencement ceremony was held on Wednesday, June 17, 2015, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at The Gerald W. Lynch Theater, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 West 59th Street, New York, N.Y.
155 students from the College’s first and second entering classes graduated. Associate degrees were conferred for 39 students from the 2012 cohort who completed their program requirements after the Fall I and II 2014 sessions. The associate degrees for the remaining 116 students will be conferred after the Spring I and Spring II 2015 sessions this summer. Ten students who graduated after the Spring I session were also awarded Honors for earning GPAs of 3.5 or higher:
- Abiola Akesode
- Karen Alvarez Jarrin
- Edwing Barrios
- Claudia Foli
- Stephanie Gaviria
- Philomina Mensah
- Joanna Pinto
- Kristina Quiles
- Rochelle Robin
- Brian Zhinin
President Scott E. Evenbeck served as Master of Ceremonies and conferred the degrees. Dr. Joan M. Lucariello, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented the College’s candidates for graduation. Dr. Andrea Morrell, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies, served as the Grand Marshall. The Wholly Brass band performed America the Beautiful and graduating students David Hernandez and Abiola Akesode gave the Invocation.
Speeches were given by Gale A. Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, Matthew Sapienza, CUNY Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance, and CUNY Trustee Charles A. Shorter. William Marcus Lowenhaupt, SGA President 2014-2015, gave the welcome address on behalf of the students, Stephen J. Icaza, Class of 2014, made comments on behalf of Guttman alumni, and Kelsie James on behalf of the Peer Mentoring program. The SGA Executive Committee 2014-2015 presented President Evenbeck the Class of 2015 gift: 25 chairs to be placed throughout Bryant Park, each with a plaque bearing Guttman’s motto: Building Community, Supporting Success. Graduating student Victoria Franco gave a spoken word presentation in celebration of the ceremony.
The President’s Medal for outstanding contributions to the College was awarded to:
Betsy Barefoot, Senior Scholar for the John N. Gardner Institute, for her outstanding contributions to American and international higher education, and for her strong support of the College during its development.
John N. Gardner, President of the John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in in Undergraduate Education, for his unsurpassed impact on the improvement of undergraduate education in the U.S. His visionary work on the first-year experience was critical to the inspiration and development of Guttman’s model and the policies and practices it has adopted.
Dr. Marcus Allen, Associate Professor of Urban Studies, gave the faculty speech. Rochelle Robin gave the valedictorian speech. Merit scholarships were awarded to the Class of 2015 Valedictorian, Rochelle Robin, and Salutatorian, Stephanie Gaviria. In addition, a special scholarship was announced to be given to an Urban Studies major beginning next year in memory of deceased first-year student Shawn Dupusoir.