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HAMBURG, N.Y. – Hilbert College held its 56th annual commencement ceremony on May 13 and more than 230 graduates rejoiced in receiving their degrees.
Commencement speaker Dr. Candace Johnson, President and CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, urged the Class of 2017, “Keep your eyes on your goal. Focus on it and do not let anyone deter you from that.”
“There is nothing that substitutes for hard work,” Dr. Johnson continued. “When you impress people with how hard you work they will open doors for you.”
Hilbert President Cynthia Zane, Ed.D. and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Edward Gelia, Jr., presented the Hilbert College Medal to William H. Greene III and Gretchen L. Wylegala. The Hilbert College Medal is presented to those who embody Franciscan values, demonstrate excellence in their profession or career, and excellence in community service.
Greene is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of W.H. Greene & Associates, Inc., a national insurance wholesale/managing general agent (MGA) operation located in East Aurora, N.Y. In 2015, Greene approached Hilbert with the concept of developing an academic program in the area of Risk Management. He collaborated with faculty and academic leadership to establish an Advisory Board, provide feedback on a proposed curriculum, and gave input into the search for a new faculty member.
Wylegala has practiced law in New York State for over 30 years, the majority of those years as a federal attorney for the Western District of New York (WDNY). She is an outgoing member of the Hilbert College Board of Trustees, 2006-17. Wylegala served as the Hilbert College Board Chair in 2013-15. Wylegala served as Chairperson of the Hilbert Board of Trustees at a crucial time in the College’s history including the awarding of the first graduate degrees in the College’s history and the implementation of a new strategic plan, Vision 2017.
Zane also presented an honorary doctorate of humane letters to Dr. Johnson.
President Zane conferred master’s degrees, in addition to four- and two- year degrees to graduates in the Class of 2017.
Top student awards that were presented at Hilbert’s 56th commencement include:
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Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,000 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and evening degree programs geared to adult learners.
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