School of Continuing, Professional Studies Commencement

Christina Coleburn, Deputy Opinion Editor

Monday, May 19
5 p.m.
Grand Hyatt New York
109 E. 42nd St.
301 bachelor degree graduates

When the SCPS graduates entered the grand ballroom of the Grand Hyatt New York, they were met with cheers from delighted family and friends. Dean Dennis Di Lorenzo set the tone of the evening by discussing the importance of “competing against yourself” to achieve long-term success and satisfaction. Keynote speaker Cathy Sandeen, who is vice president for Education Attainment and Innovation at the American Council on Education, discussed her compelling journey from a first-generation college student to a renowned policy expert. Sandeen advised graduates that “learning does not stop” for those who seek to evolve alongside the transformative job market. Following her encouraging words, student speaker Theresa Cardamone — who took a 38-year hiatus from formal education before enrolling in the SCPS Paul McGhee Division — addressed the crowd. She grippingly spoke of her unconventional path to receiving a college degree before urging graduates to reject the fears that stand in the way of making empowering choices. The ceremony ended as purple and white balloons were released from the ceiling in celebration of the graduates’ accomplishments.

Christina Coleburn is a deputy opinion editor. Email her at [email protected]