Message from SUNY Chancellor


Good afternoon, and congratulations to all of you on earning your degree after years of hard work at the State University of New York. You have cleared an enormous hurdle and stand on the cusp of the future, that can be both exhilarating and scary. Exhilarating, because no matter what is happening in the world and perhaps weighing on your mind, you finish what you started. You earned a degree, one of the nation's top campuses and no one can ever take that away from you. So you, your family, friends, and all the people who invested in your success should be very proud. But it's scary too, because you have been pressed, unwittingly, into a world embroiled in chaos.

This is a time of great disruption that is brought grief and financial difficulty, too many. The inability to be part of the glorious ritual, of walking across the stage, at your own Spring Commencement, is just one example of this. We are hopeful that this tradition can resume in the not too distant future. But this is a single moment in time, it will pass and you will have the opportunity to step into a future that only you can control. In earning your diploma, you've proven that you have the fortitude, discipline, and ability to achieve whatever you set your mind to. Your presence at this virtual commencement today is a victory. All of us eagerly await your emergence as the leaders you are destined to be. Many of you are already leading by participating in SUNY system wide response to the COVID-19 crisis.

We continue to answer governor foremost call to action by converting our facilities into medical treatment centers, providing testing sites, sending medical volunteers to hard hit locations, conducting research on antivirals and clinical trials, and more. By working together, we will emerge from this challenge stronger than ever. To do that we will need your energy, your passion, your newly acquired skills and sense of purpose. I have no doubt that your SUNY education has prepared you well. You know the meaning of success and what it takes to achieve. You've demonstrated that you are fearless. possess the grit, resiliency, and courage necessary to see through any of the challenges life will inevitably throw your way. Most importantly, you have the power to rebuild confidence in our nation and your SUNY degrees will help you do that.

On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I congratulate you and your families on this remarkable achievement and I'm so pleased to call you SUNY Alumnus. Woo-hoo!

Last Modified 5/20/20