May 21, 2010 – Dutchess Community College celebrated its 51st Commencement May 20, graduating the most students in its history. Associate’s degrees and career certificates in 51 programs of study were conferred on 1,040 graduates, who range in age from 18 to 62. The graduation ceremony was held under sunny skies on the George A. Strba soccer field on DCC’s main campus; more than 4,000 were in attendance.
Associate in Science degrees were awarded to 40 percent of the students; 28 percent received Associate in Applied Science degrees; 24 percent received Associate in Arts degrees; and
8 percent earned certificates. Almost 40 percent of the class graduated with honors, having achieved a 3.2 GPA or higher.
In his welcome address, DCC President Dr. D. David Conklin congratulated the graduates and recognized the family members, friends, faculty and staff who supported and encouraged them as they pursued their education. “This is a celebration of accomplishment,” he said. “We are very proud of you and DCC’s rich tradition of meeting the higher education needs of our community.” Dr. Conklin recognized the College’s Board of Trustees and noted that DCC has the highest enrollment of any college in the mid-Hudson Valley.
Speakers included DCC Board of Trustees Chairperson Thomas LeGrand, Professor Camilo Rojas and Student Government Association President Jasmin Vazquez.
The keynote address was delivered by DCC Class of 1963 alumnus Fred Schaeffer, Esq., an attorney in private practice who is best known for his tireless efforts to turn the vision of the Walkway Over the Hudson into reality. Schaeffer, the Poughkeepsie Journal’s 2010 Business Person of the Year, reflected on how his DCC experience taught him more than academics. “I learned how to network with people and work toward a shared goal. It’s the contacts you develop and nurture through life that can help make your dreams come true.”
Quoting British statesman Edmund Burke, Schaeffer said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” He urged the graduates, “Step up and do your part to keep the forces of evil from winning. You can do it by helping your neighbors, by helping to save the environment, by saving a historic structure, by creating a park, by holding the door open for a stranger, by setting a good example, by not being greedy.”
At an Honors Convocation earlier in the day, 147 students either starting their second year at DCC or graduating and entering four-year colleges in the fall, received scholarships totaling $110,000. More than $900,000 in scholarships has been awarded in the Convocation ceremonies since they began 14 years ago. The scholarships are funded by individuals and organizations to reward academic excellence.
To view photos of graduation, visit the College's Facebook page.
Founded in 1957, Dutchess Community College is a two-year community college that has earned a reputation for providing an outstanding education at the lowest tuition in New York state. Its main campus is in Poughkeepsie, with a satellite campus in Wappingers Falls. For more information, visit www.sunydutchess.edu.