Binghamton University will hold 10 separate commencement ceremonies this week for the class of 2023.
According to BingUNews, over 4,500 degrees for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral candidates will be granted to BU’s class of 2023 at the Events Center. The Doctoral Hooding Ceremony will also begin the week of commencement ceremonies. Each individual school will also have its own ceremony, and Harpur School of Arts and Sciences will hold three ceremonies in order to include all of the graduates earning degrees.
BU President Harvey Stenger expressed excitement for commencement — describing it as a day for the graduates, as well as those who have supported them throughout their education.
“Everyone at these ceremonies, and those watching online, are joining together to celebrate our students’ many accomplishments,” Stenger said. “These students have made [BU] better, and now, as they prepare to start the next stage of their lives, they will make our world better.”
The keynote speaker for the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SOPPS) is Donald Nieman, a professor of history. He encouraged students graduating from SOPPS to maintain the trust that the public has in their pharmacists by listening to their patients, showing compassion and using their understanding of science to provide patients with an accurate perception of vaccines and other pharmaceuticals.
Neiman explained that while the class of 2023 has struggled academically, they have shown resilience.
“They have lived through the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression, experienced a political system that has become increasingly dysfunctional, witnessed an insurrection designed to prevent the peaceful transfer of power and met the demands of challenging academic programs in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic that changed everything, including social relations,” Neiman wrote in an email.
Each commencement ceremony will feature student speakers, selected through a multistep application process. After applying to their individual schools, students selected to be commencement speakers collaborated with the Office of Communications and Marketing — also attending a Speaking Center appointment as part of their preparation process.
Lara Kaplan, the student speaker for the School of Management (SOM) and a senior majoring in business administration, discussed the wide range of networking opportunities she has earned at BU. She emphasized that students have to be willing to put “[themselves] out there.”
Kaplan expressed gratitude for her time at BU, especially as a student coming from outside of the United States.
“The last [four] years have honestly been more than I could have dreamed of,” Kaplan wrote in an email. “Coming from Australia, I didn’t really know what to expect, but the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had have been incredible. Binghamton feels like home, and I’m forever grateful to be a part of this community.”
Catriona Huber, a student speaker for the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a senior majoring in electrical engineering, expressed appreciation for her school and the “beautiful, creative” people within it.
“Simply having the chance to interact with these people and learn from them is as valuable as the classes I’ve taken, if not more so,” Huber wrote in an email. “I have so much respect for every one of my classmates and I am so proud to be graduating with them.”