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SUNY Cortland to host five Commencement ceremonies

SUNY Cortland will hold four Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2022, as well as a “Welcome Back” celebration of the Class of 2020, in Park Center Alumni Arena May 13 to 15.

Visitors may learn more about the university’s COVID-19 policies online. Any guests who are feeling ill or have symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to stay home. Although masks are currently optional at SUNY Cortland, face coverings in public indoor spaces are strongly encouraged by recent CDC guidance.

Details on all 2022 Commencement ceremonies, including links to live video streams of the events, are available on SUNY Cortland’s Commencement website.


The 2022 SUNY Cortland Commencement ceremony schedule is as follows:

  • Graduate Commencement, Friday, May 13, 7 p.m.
  • Undergraduate Commencement “A,” Saturday, May 14, 9:30 a.m.
  • Undergraduate Commencement “B,” Saturday, May 14, 2:30 p.m.
  • Undergraduate Commencement “C,” Saturday, May 14, 7 p.m.
  • Class of 2020 “Welcome Back” Commencement Celebration, Sunday, May 15, 11 a.m.

A listing of undergraduate ceremony assignments is available online.

This year’s honorary degree recipients include Dr. Susan MacLaury ’68 and John Sipher, who will both receive the title Doctor of Humane Letters.


MacLaury, an Emmy- and Oscar-winning documentary film producer who has decades of experience in social work and higher education, will speak during the morning undergraduate ceremony. She directed health and educational programs for teenage girls before becoming a professor of health education at Kean University. MacLaury has since produced award-winning documentaries on subjects such as children in Uganda preparing for a national music competition in the face of terroristic insurgency and a profile of a homeless and undocumented teenage artist.

Sipher, a 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency who was recognized with the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, will speak at the 2:30 p.m. undergraduate ceremony. A Cortland native, Sipher is the son of the later Roger E. Sipher, a Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at SUNY Cortland for 43 years. Sipher is an internationally respected authority on matters of national intelligence and his work as appeared in Foreign Affairs and the New York Times. He is a regular contributor to CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and PBS NewsHour.


MacLaury and Sipher, who were invited to receive honorary degrees in 2020, are returning for the university’s first in-person Commencement ceremonies since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrea Harbin, professor and chair of the university’s English Department, will deliver remarks during the 7 p.m. undergraduate ceremony. Harbin teaches medieval literature and studies drama and digital humanities. She received an Excellence in Teaching award from SUNY Cortland in 2013 and a Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the State University of New York in 2016.

SUNY Cortland senior and international student Ardesian Binjakaj will present the flag of his home country, Albania, during the 7 p.m. ceremony. He will be joined by members of his family who are traveling to Cortland from Tirana, Albania.

Lauren Dahm, a candidate for master of science for teachers in physical education, will speak during the Graduate Commencement. Dahm, who completed her undergraduate studies at Clarkson University, spent four years as a professional ice hockey player and is aiming for a career in physical education and coaching.


Dr. Flossie Bell Lomax ’86, M ’94, C.A.S. ’96, assistant vice president of the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association, will address the university’s newest alumni after each ceremony.

The Class of 2020 will be celebrated with a special ceremony on Sunday, May 15. Additional information on that ceremony is posted on the “Welcome Back” website.

Please visit SUNY Cortland’s Commencement website for additional information on the 2022 ceremonies.



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