COVID-19 Safety Information

Bulletin News

Four Ceremonies Planned for 2015 Commencement


SUNY Cortland’s continued success in educating historically high numbers of students means Commencement 2015 will be held in four separate, indoor ceremonies on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16.

The first undergraduate Commencement ceremony will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The second and third undergraduate ceremonies are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The graduate ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

All Commencement ceremonies will be held in the Bessie L. Park 1901 Physical Education and Recreation Center Alumni Arena.

The College expanded the number of ceremonies due to the size of its graduating classes, which have grown in recent years.

An estimated total of 1,333 seniors will receive bachelor’s degrees during the three undergraduate ceremonies. Last year, 1,477 seniors walked at the undergraduate commencement held outdoors in the Stadium Complex, and was the largest crowd of family and friends ever admitted to the events.  

The largest number of majors set to graduate in each of the three schools are: 123 exercise science majors in the School of Professional Studies, 107 childhood education majors in the School of Education, and 104 business economics majors in the School of Arts and Sciences.

 A total of 119 students are scheduled to graduate summa cum laude — the highest academic honor — with grade point averages of at least 3.75 on a scale of 4.00.

The College will award 196 master’s degrees and 27 Certificates of Advanced Study.

“All of our students have worked hard to achieve this goal and we are incredibly proud of them,” said SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum, who will preside over Commencement exercises. “We know they will build on the foundation they created at SUNY Cortland and will go on to accomplish great things in their lives.”

SUNY Cortland Political Science Professor Henry Steck will address the graduates at Friday’s ceremony. Steck, a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor who has taught at Cortland for 52 years, is currently the longest-serving educator in the 64-campus SUNY system,

Helen F. Giles-Gee, a former academic dean at SUNY Cortland who went on to serve as president of both Keene State College in New Hampshire and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, will deliver the commencement address during the Saturday morning ceremony.

John P. Allegrante ’74, a SUNY Cortland graduate and world-renowned health researcher, educator and administrator whose work has improved the well-being of people around the globe, will address graduates during the afternoon ceremony. Both Giles-Gee and Allegrante will be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by the State University of New York during the ceremony.

A graduate student traditionally delivers the commencement address during the graduate ceremonies. Patti Sue Kruppo, who will earn a Master of Science in Education from SUNY Cortland, will speak to classmates Saturday evening.

The graduates were allowed to invite up to four guests to help them mark this important milestone in their lives. An estimated 7,108 people — roughly 1,400 more than the usual number of guests — are expected to attend.

Gary DeBolt ’73, president of the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association Board of Directors, will welcome these newest graduates into the ranks of the College’s alumni, who live in all 50 U.S. states and 45 countries. In its 147-year history, SUNY Cortland has graduated more than 73,000 alumni.

The Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement ceremonies can be viewed on television in the immediate Cortland vicinity where there is Time Warner Cable access. This includes televisions in private homes, hotels, motels and on the SUNY Cortland campus. Time Warner will broadcast the ceremonies on Channel 17. Televisions on the SUNY Cortland campus will feature the ceremonies on Channels 2 and 17.

For additional information, visit the Overflow Locations and Webcast pages.

Undergraduate commencement receptions will be held from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, in Park Center Corey Gymnasium; and from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, in Lusk Field House. The graduate commencement reception will take place immediately after the ceremony in Park Center Corey Gymnasium. All students, guests, faculty and staff are invited to attend the receptions. Refreshments will be served.

Additional details about Commencement 2015 will be released on the Commencement website.

Specific questions can be directed to the College’s Special Events Office.