Ithaca College celebrated its 120th Commencement in May, honoring 1,398 graduates in a ceremony that featured Olympic gold medalist Meghan Musnicki ’05 as the speaker.
In a way, Commencement is Ithaca College’s own version of the Olympics, filled with pomp and circumstance, including:
Commencement Eve Concert and Fireworks
Ithaca’s version of the closing ceremonies included the 48th annual Commencement Eve Concert, followed by fireworks over the Athletics and Events Center. Photos by Sheryl D. Sinkow and Adam Baker.
Olympic rower Meghan Musnicki ’05 took the podium to tell graduates not to fear failure. “If you can learn something from your failure along your path to success, then in fact, it isn’t a failure at all,” she said. “It’s a lesson.” Photo by Gary Hodges.
In the same way flags are displayed at the Olympics, the flags of the countries displayed on Ceracche Athletic Center honored the international students who received degrees. This year, there were 33 countries represented at Commencement (in addition to the United States). Photo by Shai Eynav.
Instead of the gold, silver, and bronze medals awarded at the Olympics, every IC graduate received a medallion with an inspirational quote inscribed on the back. This year’s quote was taken from C. P. Cavafy’s poem “Ithaka,” written in 1911: “I hope your journey is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery.” Photo by Gary Hodges.
The college mace is like the Olympic torch. It is always carried by the college marshal at the head of the procession, and the top features the college seal on all sides. It represents the authority to lead the institution, and this year it was carried by Martin Sternstein, professor of mathematics. Photo by Gary Hodges.
Some graduates wore items that honored their heritage, like the Kente stoles worn by students who self-identify as African, Latino, Asian, and/or Native American. Kente cloth is a royal and sacred cloth worn during times of extreme importance. The symbol on the Kente stole is the West African Adinkra symbol of “knowledge, lifelong education, and continued quest for knowledge.” Photo by Gary Hodges.