Cayuga Celebrates Class of 2023 in Commencement at Falcon Park

Cayuga Community College honored its Class of 2023 on Thursday, with College leaders applauding the graduates for their record of success and urging them to realize their potential in the years ahead.

Cayuga leaders, staff and faculty joined the family and friends of the Class of 2023 at Falcon Park in Auburn for the ceremony, which marks the second consecutive year the College has utilized the state-of-the-art facility for Commencement. College President Dr. Brian Durant and Board of Trustees Chair Tony Franceschelli urged graduates to use the skills they developed at Cayuga as the foundation for overcoming future challenges.

“This is a moment in your life that surges with possibilities. Whether you are planning on continuing your education or launching your new career, lean on what you learned at Cayuga,” Dr. Durant said to the graduates. “Leverage the skills and talents you’ve developed and utilize them for your future. As you’ve accomplished this incredible achievement, you now have the opportunity to make tomorrow the future that you want.”

“Rely on what you learned and developed here as you move forward,” Chair Franceschelli told graduates. “The same determination, confidence, patience and passion that you exuded at Cayuga will stand you in good stead in the years ahead. Continue to cultivate those traits, and further success will lie before you.”

Graduates earned Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degrees and certificates from the 32 degree programs and 10 certificate programs available at Cayuga.

Student speakers for the ceremony were Adam Coe, who earned an Associate in Science in Business Administration, and Casey Doyle, who earned an Associate in Science in Human Services. Tessa-Abigail Higgins, who graduated with an Associate in Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Humanities and Social Sciences with a Music Concentration, was the student vocalist.

Class Marshals were Stefanie Clinton, who graduated with an Associate in Applied Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Laurel Elliott, who graduated with an Associate in Applied Science in Media Arts: Audio Production. Elliott was also recognized as the 2023 recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.

The College also celebrated employees who received awards this semester. Professor Eric Zizza was recognized for being inducted into the SUNY Distinguished Academy, only the second Cayuga faculty member to earn this prestigious honor since the academy was founded in 1963. Professor Ed Wagner received Professor Emeritus status, which is awarded by the College’s Board of Trustees.

Cayuga Professor Norman Lee received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service and Professor Sheila Myers received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Registrar Shannon Patrie received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, and Confidential Administrative Assistant Haley Vitale received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

A recording of Commencement will be available at the YouTube page for the College’s School of Media and the Arts,