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SU Maxwell School – Graduate Convocation Today

Maxwell Dean, David Van Slyke presided over today’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Graduate Convocation

Whether it is a convocation, a commencement, a doctoral hooding ceremony, or a simple coming together, it is one of the most joyous reasons those of us who work in academia for a long time, stay in academia. These ceremonies celebrate the achievement of our students.  A day for inspiring speeches, regalia, pomp and circumstance, celebration with fellow students, and sharing with family.  Smiles abound.  Hands clap. Hugs are warranted.  Sometimes there are tears, but they simply emphasize how much your colleagues who traveled this journey with you meant throughout.  And today, we are lucky to have all the technology and ease of travel to stay in touch.  And we will stay in touch.  SU Maxwell School graduate alumni are among the most loyal and connected around! So, let the smiles abound, let the joy wrap you in warmth and let us celebrate YOU today!

Today we had bright blue sunny skies to celebrate our graduate student successes.  Maxwell Deans David Van Slyke presided over the event, and introduced the student welcome speaker,  PhD Sociology and Professor at Onondaga Community College, Marcus Bell. Dr. Bell who officially received his degree today, provided a warm and amusing welcome for all the graduating students and their families.  His message focused on creating and retaining memories.  Deans Andrew London and Carol Faulkner also assisted in the ceremony, with Dr. London recognizing the 2018 Doctoral Prize recipients for each of the social science disciplines, and Dr. Faulkner introducing the faculty speaker, Dr. Jeffrey Gonda. Dr. Gonda is the newly named 2018 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award recipient.

The Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award is given annually to recognize outstanding non-tenured faculty at the Maxwell School.  It was established in 1985 by its namesake, who had once been a junior faculty member at Maxwell himself, prior to his celebrated career in public service.  In creating the award, Moynihan high-lighted the critical importance of retaining promising young faculty. Each Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award recipient is invited to speak at the annual Maxwell Graduate Convocation.

Dr. Gonda, an Assistant Professor in History, gave an inspiring talk on the major question he tackles with each research question: How do we make the world better?  Quoting from Arthur Ashe, he shared three steps on how our new graduates can change the world (1) “start where you are”, (2) “use what you have”, and (3) “do what you can”.    In speaking toward a more inclusive public policy, he further highlighted a great advantage our students learned at their time at Maxwell. Gonda reflects, “You know the power in what you have seen here: That we always have more to learn from one another”.

The Class Marshall for the Maxwell School was Maxwell MPA/MA IR graduate Alexander Demas.  He led the procession in and our of Hendricks Chapel, and will carry the Maxwell School’s banner at the University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday in the Carrier Dome.

These ceremonies give our students the recognition they deserve for all the hard work and effort over the course of their studies. They also give us time to pause and reflect on the real reason we do what we do, and allow us to relax and share in the warmth of celebration with our students and their families.  And even more importantly, get excited for all the potential to make the world a better place that walks off our campus today.  

Congratulations Class of 2018! Well done!


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April 2024
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