SUNY Cortland celebrates graduation day

CORTLAND, N.Y. — Despite the intermittent rain showers, a total of 1,000 students walked the stage at SUNY Cortland Alumni Arena Saturday to receive their bachelor’s degrees.

The college’s graduate commencement ceremony was held Friday at Alumni Arena. On Saturday, three commencement ceremonies were held for 997 undergraduates, many of whom majored in exercise science, childhood education, or business economics.

This year’s commencement speaker was Paul Alexander, an offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Alexander graduated from SUNY Cortland in 1982, where he studied physical education and music.

Alexander received an honorary degree from the college for his work in athletics, academics, and musical performance; he recently played piano and lectured on campus.

ESPN’s Todd Archer reported that Alexander missed rookie minicamp to attend the ceremony:

Seven college faculty and staff members received Chancellor’s Awards, recognizing faculty and staff within SUNY’s 64-campus system.

The honorees were:

  • Andrew L. Fitz-Gibbon — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities
  • Kathleen A. Burke — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • Herbert H. Haines — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service
  • Lauren Stern — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship
  • Michelle Congdon — Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service