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The Times
  • HCCC graduates largest class to date

  • Herkimer County Community College graduated its largest class to date — a class of over 660 graduates — during the college’s 44th commencement on Friday.

    The members of the class of 2012 were led into the gymnasium by the Mohawk Valley Frasers and the National Anthem was sung by music industry graduate Joshua Lanza, accompanied on piano by adjunct music faculty accompanist Ann Kocuba.

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  • Herkimer County Community College graduated its largest class to date — a class of over 660 graduates — during the college’s 44th commencement on Friday.
    The members of the class of 2012 were led into the gymnasium by the Mohawk Valley Frasers and the National Anthem was sung by music industry graduate Joshua Lanza, accompanied on piano by adjunct music faculty accompanist Ann Kocuba.
    U.S. Senator Charles Schumer delivered greetings to graduates and guests.
    During his speech he reminded families of graduates he has given them a gift, the gift of an income tax credit. He said if a college student’s family income is under $200,000 a year they can receive a tax credit from the federal Internal Revenue Service for $2,500.
    Schumer also said this is a time when parents think back to the past and remember everything they have gone through with their children. “The first day of school, hospital visits, going through those odd teenage years and watching as your child walk across the stage and become an adult. This is a special time in both of your lives,” he said.
    In his speech Schumer also said, “The students who are graduating from HCCC have two advantages over other students. First, HCCC is at the top of the list for community colleges. This gives you a leg up compared to other students around the country. Secondly, this is the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology. Technology is to your generation as water is to a fish, it’s instinctive and there are so many opportunities available. No matter what it is that you want to do with your life, go for it and reach your dream.”
    Herkimer County Legislature Chairman Vincent Bono said to graduates, “whether you choose to further your education or go right into the work force, be the best you can be.”
    HCCC Student Government President and criminal justice student Matthew Marrotta gave the student greeting. He said there were so many great quotes from his speech, but there is one that is so simple yet everyone needs to remember. “Whenever you are down or whenever someone tells you can’t, don’t give up, don’t ever give up,” he said.
    The student address was delivered by physical therapist assistant student Michael Elleman. In Elleman’s speech, “Achieving Your Goals,” he stated, “Herkimer provides you with opportunities to get involved and achieve things you did not think were possible before coming here. I certainly ended up having a more well-rounded college experience than I had originally envisioned. I have learned more, grown more, achieved more and gained more confidence in these last two years than I could have ever imagined. One of the most important things we need to leave here knowing is if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish your goals and make great achievements.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Marotta and Elleman were recipients of the SUNY Chancellors Award for Student Excellence.
    HCCC President Dr. Ann Marie Murray said, “You have met today’s academic challenges and prepared yourselves for the future. You have much to be proud of. My personal congratulations go out to each and every graduate. I have marveled at watching you grow in confidence and abilities. I look out at you today and I see potential business leaders, health care workers, teachers, artists, musicians, defenders of our safety and security. You made a wise choice in starting your college education at Herkimer. You have a solid foundation to go forward and continue reaching for your dreams.”
    During the ceremony, Associate Professor of Social Science Janemarie Verri received the SUNY Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching. Senior Account Clerk Diane Palmieri received the SUNY Chancellor Award for Excellence in Classified Service.

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