Take a Bow, Graduates
Class of 2013 urged “to serve the world at large” at 103rd Commencement while UB’s first Physician Assistant Institute grads receive their diplomas.
2013“You have an opportunity to serve the world at large,” University alumnus Dennis Walcott ’73, ’74 told nearly 1,400 graduates at the University’s 103rd Commencement, moments before he was honored by UB for his contributions.
Walcott, a self-described “kid from Queens” who is currently Chancellor of the New York City Schools, received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his longstanding dedication to improving opportunities for young people. His message of service was echoed by various speakers throughout the May 5 ceremony.
Addressing 668 undergraduates and 726 graduate students directly, Keynote Speaker Senator Richard Blumenth2al added: “My generation is asking you now to participate in a democracy that in many ways is in need of repair . . . We’re counting on you to make it better.”
Blumenthal received the second Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. The message to serve others resonated with Darline Perpignan, who was awarded a master’s in Global Development and Peace. In 2010, she earned a bachelor’s in International Political Economy and Diplomacy from UB.
“I’m from Haiti, and ever since I was seven I wanted to go into diplomacy,” said Perpignan, who immigrated to the United States when she was 12 years old. “Her UB education, Perpignan added, helped to advance her dream. “I’ve had great teachers who are so talented. I completed an internship at the Institute of Diplomacy in Amman, Jordan. I was there for 12 weeks. That helped me tremendously, because I was in the Department of Conflict Resolution, where I was exposed to details of putting together a NATO conference.”
“My generation is asking
you now to participate ina democracy that in manyways is in need of repair…We’re counting on youto make it better.”
– Sen. Richard Blumenthal to the Class of 2013
Class Speaker Tasnah Martinez, another graduate from CIPA, also spent time abroad. While at UB, Martinez was a two-time winner of the U.S. State Department’s highly competitive Critical Language Scholarship, which provides funds to send students around the world to take intensive language training.
“We have learned about our world, and most importantly, we have learned about ourselves,” said Martinez, who received a bachelor’s in World Religions. Martinez thanked families, friends, and others whose support and sacrifices made graduation possible. “Nothing,” she said,” is accomplished alone.”
As is tradition, alumni who graduated 50 years ago were formally recognized as the newest Golden Knights. As they made their way across the stage in bright yellow caps and gowns, members of the Class of 1963 were jubilantly welcomed with boisterous cheers and applause.
A separate ceremony for 199 health science graduates was held on May 13 at the Arnold Bernhard Center. The Physician Assistant Program Class of 2013, the school’s first class, received degrees.
Dr. David Katz, a nominee for the post of Surgeon General in 2009 and founder and director of both Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and Integrative Medicine at Griffin Hospital, delivered the Keynote Address after receiving an honorary degree.
Katz reminded the health science graduates to marry expertise with empathy. “You cannot have health care without care,” he said. “You cannot have care without feelings.”