Student Achievement

Marist College to Honor Classes of 2022 and 2020 in Expanded Commencement Season

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations,
Class of ’20 invited back for full commencement ceremony after being impacted by pandemic

POUGHKEEPSIE – Marist College is offering a special expanded Spring Commencement season, acknowledging the Classes of 2022 and 2020 on consecutive weekends in May on campus. The Class of 2022 will have full Commencement activities on May 20 and 21, with the Class of 2020 invited back to be honored the following weekend.
During the Spring semester of 2020, Marist students and faculty finished the semester virtually due to the pandemic. Marist College President Dr. Kevin Weinman said it was important to invite those students back while separately continuing on with the current graduating class festivities.
“This will truly be a special Commencement season at Marist,” said President Weinman.  “We are proud to offer full commencement ceremonies and related activities for both the Classes of 2020 and 2022 as we honor the amazing accomplishments of these students.”
Graduation activities begin on Friday, May 20 as Marist holds Commencement for adult undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students on the Campus Green at 6:00 pm. Esteemed alumnus, Sports Columnist, and best-selling author Ian O’Connor ‘86, will be a special guest speaker and receive the Distinguished Alumni Medal, the highest award given to a Marist graduate.

Image of Ian O'Connor Mr. O’Connor, Sports Columnist for the New York Post, has written four consecutive New York Times bestsellers – Coach K, Belichick, The Captain, and Arnie and Jack. The Distinguished Alumni Medal is presented to individuals who exemplify the College’s ideals: excellence in education, a sense of community, and a commitment to service.
“It will be one of the great honors of my life to receive Marist’s Distinguished Alumni Medal, and to speak at the graduate and adult undergraduate commencement ceremony on May 20,” said O’Connor. “Every time I have returned to campus over the decades, I have felt like a teenager arriving for the first time. I can’t wait to experience that feeling again, to remember why every day back at Marist is homecoming day, and to share that sentiment with the graduates who will surely cherish the same bond with the college in the coming years.”

Also speaking will be Julianna Loussedes, who will receive the Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies, and Shireen Scott, who will receive the Award for Academic Excellence in the School of Professional Programs.
On Saturday, May 21, the Commencement for traditional undergraduate students will be held on the Campus Green at 11:00 am. President Weinman will address the students as part of his first Spring Commencement at Marist. President Weinman was named Marist’s fifth President last summer after serving as Chief Financial & Administrative Officer at Amherst College.
“I’m very excited to celebrate with the Class of 2022 on this important day in their lives,” said President Weinman. “They are an accomplished group, and I know they will go on to achieve great things.”
Also speaking will be Class of 2022’s Valedictorian Tenzin Tsundu. He is graduating with a double major in Business (with Finance concentration) and Philosophy. 
On Saturday, May 28, the Commencement for all Class of 2020 adult and traditional undergraduate students and graduate students will be held on the Campus Green at 11:00 am. 
Special guest speaker Dr. Dennis J. Murray, former Marist College President and now President Emeritus and Professor of Public Policy, will address the class and receive a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from the college he has served for over forty years. During his tenure as President, Dr. Murray led Marist through a period of exceptional growth, overseeing its transformation from a small local college to one with an international reputation for excellence.  
“The Class of 2020 left an indelible mark on the Marist community and I am truly honored to be able to address them in their return to campus,” said Dr. Murray. “Two years ago, at the time of their graduation, we promised there would be a full Commencement for them when it was safe to do so. I am grateful to President Weinman for fulfilling that promise so we can celebrate and honor their incredible hard work and accomplishments in person.”
“I am delighted that President Emeritus Murray will be addressing the Class of 2020, and the honorary degree he will be receiving is extremely well deserved,” said President Weinman. “His influence on Marist and the Marist community over the past four decades cannot be overstated.”

image of Dr. Kevin Weinman, President of Marist College (left) and Dr. Dennis J. Murray, President Emeritus (right)
Dr. Kevin Weinman, President of Marist College (left) and Dr. Dennis J. Murray, President Emeritus (right)

Also speaking will be Class of 2020 Valedictorian Emmanuelle Farrell, who was a Psychology major with Cognitive Science minor, and Physician Assistant Studies graduate student Daniel Creedon, who will receive the Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies, after earning an MS in Physician Assistant Studies.
Family and friends of graduates who are unable to attend these Commencement events can view the ceremony streaming live by visiting Marist’s homepage at and clicking on the Commencement link. If severe weather is forecast, Marist may make alternate arrangements based on the type of weather condition.

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