Class of 2019 Called to be Beacon of Hope and Opportunity

Mildred García, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, told graduates at Ithaca College’s 124th Commencement ceremony that they have a profound responsibility to use the achievement of their degree to serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for others. García delivered the main address to some 1,500 graduates at the ceremony on May 19.

“Today we celebrate far more than a degree achieved; we honor a dream, your dream, realized,” García said. “I am proud that each of you now joins me and President Collado in being the change we want to see in the world so that the next generation of diverse students encounters less obstacles and more opportunities, less discrimination and more equal pay, less broken hopes and more broken glass ceilings.”

President Shirley M. Collado presented García with an honorary doctor of letters degree. She also awarded honorary doctorates to educator and journalist Melissa Harris-Perry and Ithaca mayor Svante Myrick.

At the ceremony, retiring executive vice president and senior advisor to the president Nancy Pringle was also presented with the inaugural Presidential Medal, which honors a member of the IC family or a valued institutional partner whose contributions better the IC community and our world.