Diverse Paths, Shared Success: 2024 Commencement Honors Graduate, Adult Undergraduate, & Doctoral Students

Michelle Eggink, Assistant Director of Content Marketing & Communications
President Weinman and graduate student at Friday's Commencement. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College.
President Weinman and graduate student at Friday's Commencement. Photo by Carlo de Jesus/Marist College.

May 21, 2024 — On Friday, more than 500 graduate, adult undergraduate, and doctor of physical therapy students were honored at a special commencement ceremony at McCann Arena.

Graduate programs at Marist encompass a diverse range of degrees including MBAMPA, MA in marketing communicationteacher educationphysician assistant studiesdoctor of physical therapy, and more! These programs are designed to equip students with the skills necessary to tackle real-world challenges, whether in various industries, public service, or the pursuit of improved wellness and health systems.

With over 40 undergraduate degrees, bachelor completion programs, and certificates, Marist’s adult undergraduate programs help busy adults who want to start or complete their bachelor's degree. These programs are designed to accommodate the diverse needs of adult learners, providing strategic options for education and career advancement.


President Weinman addressed the crowd of cheerful friends and family members of the graduates.

“As someone who has spent the majority of the years of my adult life studying and pursuing degrees – sometimes full-time, sometimes part-time – I have special admiration for tonight’s graduates,” he said. “Many of you have juggled jobs, family responsibilities, civic obligations, community service, and other duties alongside your studies at Marist. Your perseverance and dedication to lifelong learning are impressive.”

Image of Andrew Lutakome Kayiira Jr. '04

Andrew Lutakome Kayiira Jr. '04 speaking at Commencement. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College. 

Following President Weinman, Friday’s commencement speaker Andrew Lutakome Kayiira Jr. '04, an accomplished capital markets executive and the honoree of the Distinguished Alumni Medal, spoke to the graduating class.

“As you begin this next chapter, I encourage you to also create a path that is purely your own, always challenge yourselves to envision different ways of channeling what you’ve learned here at Marist, and don’t be afraid to strive for new opportunities or experiences outside of your comfort zone or perceived path forward,” said Kayiira. “Discovering new opportunities can lead to an ability to make a meaningful impact and truly find passion in what you do. Just as I have done, you will improve by learning from the mistakes you make along your journey.”

Image of Erin E. Kilmer
Graduate Speaker Erin E. Kilmer at Friday's Commencement. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College. 

Graduate Speaker Erin E. Kilmer, winner of the Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies, addressed the Graduate Class.

“I would urge us, don’t ever stop learning,” said Kilmer. “Let us go off into the world today with our newly conferred degrees and our critical thinking skills. Let us listen to the perspectives of others and challenge our own thinking. And let us take this opportunity and our education to continue to improve not just the world, but ourselves as well.”

Image of Amber Haqu
Adult Undergraduate Speaker Amber Haqu at Friday's Commencement. Photo by Nelson Echeverria/Marist College. 

Amber Haqu, winner of this year’s Spirit of Adult Education Award, addressed the Adult Undergraduate class with encouragement.

“We’ve accomplished something great by getting this far, and, whatever you do, I hope you choose to live a life that makes you proud – not necessarily because it’s full of celebrated accomplishments but because of all the little things that you’ve picked up along the way,” said Amber.

Learn more about the Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant Program Graduates here. 

The full Commencement ceremony for adult undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students can be found here.


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