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For Immediate Release
September 3, 2014

Convocation 2014: A Legacy Transforms and Empowers Individuals.

A legacy transforms and empowers individuals, Suffolk County Community College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay told more than 300 students, faculty, staff and distinguished retirees on Tuesday afternoon at the College’s annual Convocation marking the start of the new college semester.

President McKay told the group, gathered in the Ammerman Campus’ Brookhaven Gymnasium, that Suffolk County Community College is the single most important entity that affects the lives of Suffolk County residents and serves as a vibrant economic engine. 

“What we do collectively and individually changes people's lives,” President McKay said. “Education transforms lives by empowering people; this empowerment allows people to achieve, to create, to thrive – thereby creating a legacy of progress. This legacy, in turn, transforms individuals and our local communities and continuing an economic cycle indefinitely,”

President McKay added that,  “Each one of us here today, each faculty member, retiree, administrator, staff member – every student – will be called upon to establish a legacy that will transform lives moving forward. And together, we – you and I – have the responsibility to create the legacy of Suffolk County Community College.”

Richard “Bud” Macy, a Suffolk County Community College Class of 1968 graduate, retired Professor of Mechanical Technology, and president of the Retirees Association of Suffolk Community College led the Convocation’s processional and recessional. Three new professors emeriti were also honored.

 Dafny J. Irizarry, chairwoman of the College’s Board of Trustees, welcomed new students and pledged, “As we begin this new academic year, and on behalf of all the members of our College’s Board of Trustees, I pledge our continued commitment to govern the College in a manner that ensures confidence in the institution’s leadership, and in its academic, financial and strategic priorities,” she said.  

Keynote remarks were delivered by Suffolk graduate Eric Martinez, an attorney and certified public accountant. “Suffolk was a place that changed my life,” said Martinez. “To this day, when my brothers and sisters and I get together, we talk about how important Suffolk was to our development as individuals and how the teachers really cared about our growth,” he said.

 The event’s welcome and introductions were handled by Dr. Filiz Turhan-Swenson, Professor of English.

This past spring, President McKay said, 14 Suffolk students received State University of New York Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence, the highest number of student honorees in the state.  Five members of the College’s faculty, staff and administration recently received 2013-2014 SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence:

•           Dr. Amy Czura, Associate Professor of Biology - Eastern Campus

•           Mr. Drew Fawcett, College Associate Dean of Institutional Advancement

•           Christopher Gherardi, Associate Dean for Faculty and Professional Advancement

•           Dr. Dan Gilhooley, Professor of Visual Arts - Ammerman Campus

•           Junius Atkins, Jr., Plant Operations Custodial Worker III - Eastern Campus