MIDDLETOWN – SUNY Orange’s 67th Commencement ceremony will feature approximately 450 participating graduates when the event begins at 5 p.m., Thursday, May 18 on the Alumni Green at the College’s Middletown campus.
Global Studies professor Heidi Weber and 2017 graduate Renita Johnson will be the featured speakers. In all, nearly 900 students will have completed their associate’s degree or certificate requirements during August, December or May of this current academic year. That total is pending final review of all May graduate candidates’ transcripts.
Any student who completed the necessary academic requirements during the 2016-17 academic year, or is slated to conclude a program of study this summer, is eligible to participate in Commencement. SUNY Orange awards diplomas to students who earn Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degrees, as well as graduation certificates to those who complete the College’s various certificate programs.
Helen Ullrich, chair of the SUNY Orange Board of Trustees, and SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young will host the ceremony. Additional remarks will be offered by Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and Terry Saturno, chairman of the SUNY Orange Foundation’s Board of Directors. Graduate Eric Mahon will serve as the student marshal and will lead the graduate processional and recessional.
Now concluding her 10th year on the Global Studies faculty at SUNY Orange, Weber received the College’s President’s Award for Teaching Excellence this past Spring. She teaches history and military history courses, is active in the College’s shared governance system and has been a driving force in the development of a Holocaust Remembrance center on the Middletown campus.
Weber earned her doctorate degree in American military history from Kent State University. Her specialty is the application of total warfare in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina in 1864-1865. She has previously been selected as a Fellow in the United States Military Academy Summer Seminar in Military History. She also gives lectures and presentations at history conferences and to local groups, and has been published in a variety of history journals and books.
Johnson, a resident of Middletown who moved to the area from upstate New York in order to attend SUNY Orange, was one of two SUNY Orange students to receive the Phi Theta Kappa All-New York Academic Award this Spring. She will graduate this May with a liberal arts degree (concentration in biology) and expects to earn her nursing degree from SUNY Orange in December.
She is president of the College’s PTK chapter, serves as a student senator, sits on the Athletic Advisory Committee, works as an anatomy and physiology tutor, and serves as a peer mentor/advisor for the College’s advising office and TRIO program. Last Fall, Johnson was a member of Colts’ first-ever women’s cross country team and helped guide the squad to the Division III national junior college championship meet.
Mahon, of Pine Bush, will graduate with a degree in accounting. A regular member of the Dean’s List, he served as vice president of the Middletown campus Student Senate this year and was a member of the Business Club. He was also among a group of business students who offered free income tax preparation for fellow students this Spring.
In the event of inclement weather, Commencement would be moved indoors to the Edward A. Diana Physical Education Center.