SUNY Canton graduates nearly 750 students at 114th commencement ceremony
SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran, left, and SUNY Canton Vice President for Student Affairs Courtney B. Bish, right, stand with Katlynn M. Allen from Malone, a Physical Therapist Assistant graduate and the recipient of the college's Outstanding Graduate Award at the associate degree level. The award was presented at the college's 114th Commencement Ceremony Saturday, May 14. Photo submitted by SUNY Canton.
CANTON -- SUNY Canton held its 114th Commencement Ceremony for approximately 750 members of the class of 2022 Saturday, May 14.College Council Chair Ronald M. O'Neill, class of 1963, opened the ceremony by asking the graduates to reflect on the memories and lifelong friendships they have made.
"There has never been a graduating class in our school history quite like yours," he said. "While the pandemic was unexpected and unwelcome, by going through it together, it has created a bond that I hope you will carry forward into this new phase of your lives."
President Zvi Szafran welcomed the audience and led a moment of silence for SUNY Canton Professor Edouard Mafoua, Ph.D., who passed away unexpectedly in March. Mafoua taught Economics in the Business Department and was a 17-year employee of the college.
"Edouard will be fondly remembered for his passion for teaching, for sharing his knowledge, and for his dedication to his students and the college," the president said.
Szafran expressed his pride in this year's class, which comprises graduates who range in age from 19 to 64 years old and represent 18 U.S. states and seven countries, including Cameroon, Canada, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, and the U.K.
He continued by introducing two recipients of the Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence: Jenna C. VanAllen a Veterinary Science Technology graduate from Blossvale and Charliann R. Friedman, a Veterinary Technology graduate from Schenectady. He also congratulated:
Tiffany L. Hobby, an Applied Psychology graduate from the Bronx, who is the recipient of the Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for Student Excellence, a statewide honor that recognizes scholars in the Educational Opportunity Program.
Zion Sankey, a Sports Management graduate from Troy, the David R. Maynard Student Activities Award recipient.
SUNY Canton Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Courtney B. Bish then introduced this year's outstanding graduates Katlynn M. Allen, a Physical Therapist Assistant graduate from Malone; Cassidy Asiamah, a Criminal Investigation graduate from the Bronx; and Bryan J. Levy, a Mechanical Engineering Technology graduate from Wappingers Falls.
Student Jonah R. Black, class of 2023 and president of the Student Government Association, addressed the graduates and reminded them of all they have accomplished during unusual circumstances.
"The unexpected transition to online learning wasn't easy, but you all have stuck it through to the end," Black said. "Take that motivation and determination that you've shown through your time here at SUNY Canton, and fight for what you deserve and never settle for less."
The top three bachelor's degrees awarded, in order of popularity, were Health Care Management, Nursing, and Criminal Investigation. The top three associate degrees awarded were Nursing, Veterinary Science Technology, and Individual Studies.
Additionally, graduates from the college's one and two-year Nursing programs were recognized at special pinning ceremonies held earlier in the week.