December 20, 2022


SUNY Empire State celebrated graduates at winter commencement ceremony

(ALBANY, NY– December 19, 2022)

SUNY Empire State celebrated the class of 2022 at the college’s winter commencement ceremony on Saturday, December 17 at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. SUNY Empire President Lisa Vollendorf was in attendance for her first commencement ceremony as SUNY Empire's sixth president


This winter, SUNY Empire celebrated 839 commencement-eligible students. They collectively live in 61 different New York state counties, in 29 U.S. states and territories, 26 countries around the world, and ranged from ages 19 to 75. 


The ceremony student speaker, Ronald Freeman of Brooklyn, NY, received a Master of Arts degree in social and public policy and an advanced certificate in public administration. He received his Bachelor of Science in educational studies from SUNY Empire State in 2020. 



SUNY Empire State President Lisa Vollendorf said, "Our entire college community is inspired by our students. They inspire us every day to recognize the potential in learners at all ages and all stages of life; to value those who give to their families, their communities, their country, their careers, and who still find the determination to pursue their own educational dreams."


SUNY Empire State Faculty Speaker Roxana Toma, Ph.D. said, "All my students have a genuine deep care for others, for their communities, for a future that is more just, and a strong commitment to contributing to something bigger than themselves. Ever year since I’ve been at the college, my students taught me that it is how you view the world that shapes your actions. They know what it’s like to work hard, persevere, ask for help, and step up to lead."


SUNY Empire State student speaker Ronald Freeman said, “We are here with our loved ones, SUNY Empire State's faculty, to commemorate our studies' end. Take the time to turn around and thank those who helped you along the journey. They did it with you. Through a worldwide pandemic, and a social and racial awakening, I am now graduating with a master’s degree from the preeminent non-traditional, online institution in the SUNY system. SUNY Empire State graduates, we did it!"