The Class of 2019 will be honored at SUNY Oneonta’s 130th commencement on Saturday, May 11. The college will offer three ceremonies in the Dewar Arena of the Alumni Field House. The ceremony for students graduating from the School of Sciences will be at 9 a.m., followed by the School of Liberal Arts ceremony at 1 p.m., and the School of Economics and Business and School of Education, Human Ecology and Sports Studies ceremony at 4:30 p.m. After the ceremonies, receptions will be held on the academic quad.

Livestreams of the three commencement ceremonies will be available on SUNY Oneonta’s Facebook page and will be available to watch afterward on the college’s YouTube channel.

This year, there will be two commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients. James C. Zachos ('81) will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony, and Crystal L. Williams ('77) will speak at both the 1 and 4:30 p.m. ceremonies.

Crystal L. Williams has dedicated her life’s work to seeking justice for refugees and asylum seekers, litigating employment-based immigration law cases, and helping to shape federal immigration policy. She reached the pinnacle of her career as the CEO and executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the premier national association for immigration law attorneys. Among her many accomplishments at AILA, she helped advance the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) initiative, co-authoring a treatise on immigration law and starting a new pro bono program.

James C. Zachos is a highly respected and frequently cited paleoclimatologist, consistently at the forefront of research to reconstruct Earth's climate history. His work has been published in some of the most prestigious journals and reports, and his expertise in climate change has resulted in countless invitations to speak at conferences around the world. He has served on several research cruises of the Ocean Drilling Program and as an editor of major scientific journals. In 2017, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the greatest honors an American scientist can receive. In addition, he has shared his knowledge with future generations as a professor of geology for nearly 30 years.

Eight campus community members will be recognized as SUNY Chancellor's Award winners for the 2018-2019 academic year:

  • Lesley Bidwell, director of IT Networking and Telecommunications, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service;
  • Keith Byam, maintenance assistant - locksmith, has received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Classified Service;
  • Robert Compton, professor of Africana and Latino Studies (ALS) and political science and chair of the ALS Department, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service;
  • Amie Doughty, professor and chair of the English Department, has received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching;
  • Michelle Hendley, librarian, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship;
  • Gina Keel, associate professor of political science, has received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching;
  • Izabella Lokshina, chair of the Management, Marketing and Information Systems Department, has received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; and
  • Florian Reyda, professor of biology, has received the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Four students will be recognized as SUNY Chancellor’s Award winners for the 2018-2019 academic year:

  • James Bethel, a communication major from Saugerties, NY, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence;
  • Madeline Frank, a biology major from Syracuse, NY, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence;
  • Rosario Rodriguez, a mass communications major from Greenport, NY, has received the Chancellors Award for Student Excellence; and
  • Karly Schuhart, a child and family studies major from Penfield, NY, has received the Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence.