Among the 700 graduates who had their degrees conferred at SUNY Canton’s 102nd commencement ceremony were two students whose friendship extended far beyond the normal realm of college roommates.
Marquise Paillere of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, who received an associate degree in individual studies, and Xiaoli Zhang of Hefei, China, who received a bachelor’s degree in management, both received the Presidential Recognition Award for their efforts leading to the creation of the SUNY Canton Haitian Student Relief fund.
“We applaud the individual and collective accomplishments of all of our graduates,” said SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy. “During the years that these graduates have attended SUNY Canton, our College has grown tremendously. They have helped to shape our College for years to come.”
Other commencement highlights included:
- Approximately 20 students in Bosnia joined commencement via live video feed. Students from the American University in Bosnia Herzegovina received their bachelor’s degrees in finance alongside their classmates at SUNY Canton. In some cases, this will be the first time that the two contingents have ever met.
- Student athletes Julie Vander Wiel, a legal studies graduate from Malone, and Mark Talamo, a management graduate from Oswego, both recently won awards from the SUNY Canton Kangaroo’s Athletic Department. Vander Wiel, who played basketball for four years, received the Nicole Fleury Memorial Leadership Award and the SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Award. Talamo, who played hockey for four years, won the Alden Chadwick Memorial Leadership Award.
- Three graduates earned a diploma and a badge, having graduated from the SUNY Canton David Sullivan St. Lawrence County Law Enforcement Academy the day before Commencement. Ian M. Vanier of Malone is a sworn officer of the Norfolk Police Department and a criminal investigation graduate; Jason A. Streeter of Canton is a sworn officer of the Antwerp Police Department and a Criminal Investigation graduate, and Jennifer A. Amo of Ogdensburg is a sworn police officer of the Antwerp Police Department and a criminal justice graduate.
- All of the graduates of the nursing program were honored at a special pinning ceremony following commencement. Family members and influential friends were invited to present each nursing graduate with their ceremonial pin denoting their profession.
The College’s largest and most popular bachelor’s degree program was criminal investigation with 28 graduates. Finance saw 23 graduates, and management 22.
Two associate degree programs tied with the most graduates this year. Both nursing and criminal justice had 67 graduates. The third largest program was veterinary science technology with 49 graduates.
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