Syracuse University Magazine

Commencement 2013

Here are some highlights of the 159th Commencement of Syracuse University and the 116th Commencement of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, held on May 12 in the Carrier Dome:

Degrees Conferred: SU, 5,533; SUNY ESF, 676.

Class Marshals: Stephanie Kranz, the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S), and Kishauna Soljour, Newhouse School and A&S.

Student Speaker: Jaime Bernstein, A&S

Honorary Doctoral Recipients: Alan Gerry, founder of Cablevision Industries Corp., philanthropist, and former SU trustee (Doctor of Humane Letters); Judith S. Kaye, former chief judge of New York State’s Court of Appeals (Doctor of Law); Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist for The New York Times (Doctor of Humane Letters); Wangari Muta Maathai, environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (Doctor of Science, presented posthumously to her daughter, Wanjira Mathai); Charles Payne ’70, Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, and urban education expert (Doctor of Letters). 

Commencement Speaker: Nicholas Kristof

Quoting Kristof: My advice is to find some issue that resonates with you, that you care about, and then work to get engaged in it. If only in your spare time. It may sound sanctimonious and earnest, but I think you will see it’s also self-interested. There are plenty of selfish pleasures in the world, but maybe the most selfish of all is altruism. The blunt truth is that all our efforts to help other people have a pretty mixed record of success. But they have this almost perfect record of helping ourselves.



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  • Commencement 2013
  • Encouraging Words
  • Welcome to the ACC
  • A Promise Fulfilled