Students earning degrees in a broad variety of undergraduate and master’s programs celebrated their achievement on Sunday, December 15th, at Concordia College’s second annual Winter Commencement.
Proud parents, friends and family members filled Sommer Center for the ceremony, while many more watched via Livestream in Schoenfeld Campus Center.
President John A. Nunes presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award to Kevin Cook ’76, Principle Gifts Officer for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and Westchester Medical Center, calling him “an extraordinary model for our students on what it means to pursue a life of passion, purpose and service.”
The College awarded an Honorary Doctorate to Ruth Naomi Floyd for her unique and valuable contribution to the arts, her commitment to music education, and her compassionate care to people living with HIV and AIDS. Near the end of the program Floyd, a lauded composer and performer of sacred jazz, gave a soaring rendition of the College’s alma mater.
Student Representative Maryanne Cuomo ’11, ’19 summa cum laude shared her inspiring educational journey to her master’s in special childhood education, including the fact that her husband, Joseph Cuomo, was that day earning his own master’s in special childhood education, summa cum laude, from Concordia.
President Nunes noted that the graduates included over 40 nursing, radiologic technologies, biology and health sciences students, and that the excellence with which the College prepares students for careers in healthcare made Dr. Jill Kalman, Executive Director of Lenox Hill Hospital and a renowned expert in congestive heart failure, the perfect choice for commencement speaker. Dr. Kalman told the graduates: “Today is your Monday: your first day to start making your difference. Find your WHY for the journey. You are ready, and you are amazing.”
In his charge to the graduates, President Nunes spoke movingly of the difference between the temporary and the permanent, and the importance of placing value on the things that really matter.