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A video archive of Hilbert's 54th Annual Commencement is available here: https://www.boxcast.com/show/#/2015-commencement
HAMBURG, N.Y. – Hilbert College held its 54th annual commencement ceremony on May 16 and more than 270 graduates rejoiced in receiving their degrees.
Commencement speaker Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, urged the Class of 2015, “As you go forward, it is my sincere hope that you take risks. The kind of risks that if you are bold enough to take can lead you to the fulfillment of your life.”
“You have to push your comfort zone and push yourself,” the Lt. Gov. continued. “I hope you never fear failure, because it will hold you back.”
Hilbert President Cynthia Zane, Ed.D. and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Edward Gelia, presented the Hilbert College Medal to Robert M. Bennett. The Hilbert College Medal is presented to those “who embody Franciscan values, demonstrate excellence in their profession or career, and excellence in community service.”
Bennett served tirelessly and with distinction as a chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents for 20 years. During that time, he has been a champion of quality in education at all levels from pre-school to graduate school. In representing Western New York, he has won the respect of the region’s elected leaders as well as his fellow regents, who voted unanimously to award him the title of Chancellor Emeritus in 2009. The value of his wisdom was further attested to two weeks ago when Bishop Malone appointed him to the Diocese of Buffalo’s Catholic School Advisory Council, Bennett’s concern for education predates his term as regent. As President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County he developed and supported numerous initiatives to improve the lives of all, especially the youngest and oldest, and all those who need an advocate for their voices to be heard.
Zane also presented an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.
President Zane conferred master’s degrees, in addition to four- and two- year degrees to graduates in the Class of 2015.
Top student awards that were presented at Hilbert’s 54th commencement include:
• Lambert and Margaret Graham Award for a full-time returning adult student who has earned the highest cumulative quality point average. Presented to Lisa Beckwith
• Kimberly Bruch Raczkowski Memorial Alumni Association Award for a graduate who reflects the spirit of Hilbert and its mission, and possesses strong leadership skills and demonstrates loyalty and dedication to others. Presented to Caitlin Queen
• Sister Mary Edwina Bogel Award to an outstanding female graduate in recognition of her character, intellectual achievement and devoted service to fellow students and the college. Presented to Marissa Carvalho
• John Kissel Man of the Year Award to an outstanding male student in recognition of his character, intellectual progress, organizational ability, and participation in activities and programs. Presented to Alexander Wisner
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