More Than 1,150 Students Receive Degrees at SUNY Canton’s 107th Commencement

SUNY Canton recognized the accomplishments of approximately 1,150 graduates at the college’s 107th Commencement Ceremony held today, May 9, in the Roos House Convocation, Athletic and Recreation Center.


Pierre Nzuah, an international student from Cameroon who has lived in Canton for the past four years, sits among his peers at SUNY Canton’s 107th Commencement.

“I am extremely proud of everyone as you achieve this major goal in your lives,” said President Zvi Szafran, Ph.D.  “I know that as you move forward in life, you’ll be able to accomplish many great things, as have the alumni from SUNY Canton who have preceded you.”

This is Szafran’s first commencement as SUNY Canton’s president. He was officially inaugurated April 10.

Among the faculty members recognized at the ceremony was Associate Professor of Mathematics Daniel J. Gagliardi, Ph.D., who received the 2015 Distinguished Faculty award.


Associate Professor of Mathematics Daniel J. Gagliardi addresses the audience at SUNY Canton’s commencement after receiving the Distinguished Faculty award.

“SUNY Canton is a place where people can make a new life for themselves,” Gagliardi said. “Some people go from a minimum wage job to a meaningful career with the potential for unlimited growth. I’ve seen this happen year after year with every graduating class, and I’m very proud to be a part of the institution that’s making it happen.”

The keynote address was given by retired Congressman William L. “Bill” Owens, who received an honorary Doctorate of Laws degree in recognition of his advocacy for the North Country and his devoted support of SUNY Canton.


SUNY Canton’s Commencement keynote address was delivered by former U.S. Congressman William L. “Bill” Owens. He was presented an honorary doctorate at the ceremony.

“When I look around the audience today and see the fresh faces of graduates, I think of how you are going to lead us as we go forward,” Owens said. “I want you to focus on the idea that you are going to lead us. Whether if that is leading in your community, whether it is in your job, you need to understand what it means to be a leader.”


Students prepare to hear their names called at SUNY Canton’s 107th Commencement. More than 1,150 students were recognized on stage for their accomplishments.

A number of students were recognized at the ceremony, including:

  • Electrical Engineering Technology major Christopher A. Dwyer from Chittenango, who earned the Outstanding Associate Graduate award. Dwyer now resides in Ogdensburg.
  • Civil Engineering Technology major Alyssa M. Baker from Boonville, who received the Outstanding Baccalaureate Graduate award.
  • Electrical Engineering Technology major Pierre Nzuah from Cameroon, and Veterinary Science Technology major Danielle St-Denis from Massena, who both earned the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

A student celebrates the joyous occasion with a graduation “selfie.”

The top five bachelor’s degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Legal Studies, Management, Finance, Nursing and Criminal Investigation.

The five most popular associate degrees were Criminal Justice, Nursing, Liberal Arts, Veterinary Science Technology and Individual Studies.

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