Ithaca College to Hold Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 21

By David Maley, May 15, 2017

Ithaca College to Hold Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 21

Award-winning television producer/director Bill D’Elia will return to his alma mater to deliver the main address to some 1,360 graduates and their guests at Ithaca College’s 122nd Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21. A 1969 television-radio graduate, D’Elia has been associated with some of the most critically acclaimed television programs of the past two decades

Also making remarks at Commencement will be Ithaca College President Tom Rochon, Senior Class President Ciara Lucas and Board of Trustees vice chairman David Lissy ’87.

The 10 a.m. ceremony at Butterfield Stadium on campus is open to the public. It can be viewed locally on Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) channel 16 and will be streamed live online at

The college will be presenting honorary Doctor of Letters degrees to two individuals with lengthy track records of fostering dialogue and bridging difficult issues: Ann Thompson Cook, the co-founder and former co-director of the organization Many Voices, and La June Montgomery Tabron, the president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Earlier on Commencement weekend, Tabron and Cook will take part in a discussion titled “Fostering Inclusive Conversation Across Societal Divides: Reflections From and With IC’s 2017 Honorary Degree Recipients.” Free and open to the public, that event will be held on Saturday, May 20, from 3–3:45 p.m. in Clark Lounge, Campus Center.

An eight-time Emmy Award nominee, D’Elia (pronounced duh-lee’-uh) is an executive producer and director of the hit ABC television series “How to Get Away with Murder,” which has been named one of the top 10 television programs of the year by the American Film Institute and won the award for Outstanding Drama Series at the 46th NAACP Image Awards and 26th GLAAD Media Awards.

During his lengthy career, D’Elia has produced and/or directed such celebrated shows as “The West Wing,” “Grey’s Anatomy, “Boston Legal,” “Ally McBeal,” “Chicago Hope” and “Glee.”

“Boston Legal” was honored in 2005 with a Peabody Award — which recognizes distinguished and meritorious public service by the media — and D’Elia was a 2012 recipient of the Television Academy Honors, given by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to recognize those who create “television with a conscience.”

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