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The Times
  • MVCC grads ‘swimming’ in technology

  • Whether a student was sitting in the front row or the back at Mohawk Valley Community College’s graduation Friday, civil rights activist Morris Dees told grads they were in the front seat to history.

    Dees, the keynote speaker at the 66th commencement ceremony that took place at Utica Memorial Auditorium, is a co-founder and chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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  • Whether a student was sitting in the front row or the back at Mohawk Valley Community College’s graduation Friday, civil rights activist Morris Dees told grads they were in the front seat to history.
    Dees, the keynote speaker at the 66th commencement ceremony that took place at Utica Memorial Auditorium, is a co-founder and chief trial counsel for the Southern Poverty Law Center.
    He has dedicated his life to fighting legal battles against hate groups, but when he was on the other side of the podium, he had a front row seat to history, namely the Civil Rights movement.
    That year was 1955, and Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat in the front of the bus.
    “I didn’t realize history was swirling around me,” he said.
    Though all the MVCC graduates didn’t attend Friday’s commencement, more than 1,000 students were eligible to attend, the most ever.
    Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, who also addressed the graduates, said the class of 2012 has two advantages.
    “First, you’re graduating from a good school. … Second, you are the first generation to graduate with all this technology,” he said. “Technology is like water to a fish. You’re born swimming in it.”
    About 65 percent of this year’s graduating class is from Oneida County.
    More than 65 percent of MVCC’s graduating students have finished certificate and degree programs designed to lead them to direct entry into the workforce. More than 30 percent of graduating students have completed degree programs designed to lead them to transfer to another college or university.
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