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Cayuga's First Grad Returns as Commencement Speaker

DATE: 04-26-2004

The first graduate of Cayuga Community College, Adriana Amelias Hardy, will help her alma mater conclude its yearlong 50th anniversary celebration by returning as the 2004 Commencement speaker.

Then Adriana Amelias, Hardy led the first graduating class across the stage in 1955 by virtue of alphabetical order. At the time, the college's name also began with the letter “A.” Founded in 1953 as Auburn Community College, it was rechristened with the County's name in 1975.

After her graduation, Hardy went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York College at Fredonia, then forged a distinguished career in opera and musical theater. She appeared as a soloist in operas and musicals, then became an award-winning director and choreographer. Now retired from the stage, she is active as a vocal therapist and voice teacher to professionals. Hardy resides in Arlington, Virginia, where she recently directed the acclaimed musical, Master Class, a portrait of opera diva Maria Callas.

Hardy will sing, as well as address the graduates, at this year's college Commencement. The ceremony will be held in Spartan Hall on the College's Auburn campus, beginning at 1:00 p.m., on Sunday, May 23.