May 20, 2011 – Dutchess Community College celebrated its 52nd Commencement May 19, graduating the most students in its history. Associate degrees and career certificates in 54 programs of study were conferred on 1,201 graduates, who range in age from 18 to almost 67. The graduation ceremony was held in Falcon Hall on DCC’s main campus; more than 4,000 were in attendance, with many guests viewing the festivities at several simulcast sites throughout campus.
Associate in Science degrees were awarded to 44 percent of the students; 24 percent received Associate in Applied Science degrees; 24 percent received Associate in Arts degrees; and
8 percent earned certificates. More than 35 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. He also noted the importance of living and working with enthusiasm.
“As you leave Dutchess Community College and move on in life, I want to encourage you to be passionate about whatever it is you choose to do,” said Conklin. “Whether it is with your profession, as a family member, or as a member of your community, you should strive to use the knowledge and skills you have acquired as a student at Dutchess Community College to make a difference.”
Other speakers included DCC Board of Trustees Chairperson Thomas LeGrand, Professor Navina Hooker and Student Government Association President John Zamierowski.
State University of New York Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters was presented to Bernard Handel and Allyn J. Washington. Handel is a DCC benefactor and local attorney who
co-founded the organization that later would become AARP. Washington is a DCC founding faculty member and textbook author who revolutionized the teaching of technical mathematics.
“I am proud and pleased to present the State University of New York honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Bernard Handel,” said Conklin. “His contributions to his profession and our community are of historical significance.”
Marty Triola, an emeritus math professor at DCC, had praise for Washington.
“When Al retired and moved 2552 miles away, it would have been so easy for him to put Dutchess Community College behind him,” said Triola. “Yet he has remained a dedicated member of the DCC family, and is tremendously supportive of initiatives that directly benefit students.”
At an Honors Convocation earlier in the day, 150 students either starting their second year at DCC or graduating and entering four-year colleges in the fall, were recognized for outstanding achievements and received scholarships totaling more than $110,000. More than $1 million in scholarships has been awarded by the DCC Foundation in the Convocation ceremonies since they began 15 years ago. The scholarships are funded by individuals and organizations to reward academic excellence.