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Sen. Charles Schumer Delivers Keynote Address at UAlbany’s Winter Commencement, Dec. 6

Contact(s):  Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150

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Winter Commencement

More than 1,000 students will graduate at UAlbany's Winter Commencement.

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 1, 2009) -- New York Senator Charles E. Schumer will deliver the keynote address to more than 1,000 graduates and their families at the University at Albany’s Winter Commencement at 1 p.m. Sunday, December 6 at the SEFCU Arena on the uptown campus.

The University will award 536 bachelor's degrees and 553 graduate degrees, including 364 master's and 120 doctoral degrees. Psychology and history are the top majors for undergraduate degree candidates. The graduating class will become part of the global network of more than 147,000 living alumni.

The undergraduate commencement class hails from nine U.S. states and 26 foreign countries, including Peru, Korea and Albania. Undergraduates are 51 percent women and 49 percent men, and include ten military veterans. The youngest graduate is 18 while the oldest is 58. Six percent are 30 years old or older.

During commencement ceremonies, student leader Allison Leventhal, a Queens native, will address the graduates, families and friends. Leventhal, who is graduating with a master’s degree in mental health counseling, also received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from UAlbany in 2008.

Keynote speaker Senator Charles E. Schumer was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998, becoming New York’s senior senator when Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan retired in 2000. Throughout his time in the Senate, Schumer has made improving New York’s economy his top priority, bringing affordable air service to Upstate New York and the Hudson Valley and delivering over $20 billion in aid to New York City following the attacks on September 11, 2001. Schumer was the author of legislation that eliminated barriers delaying low-cost generic medications from entering the marketplace and led the charge to make college tuition tax deductible.

After New Yorkers re-elected him in 2004, Schumer was awarded a seat on the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the nation’s tax, trade, social security and health care legislation, and Chairmanship of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Schumer successfully led the DSCC for two consecutive cycles before stepping down at the end of 2008. Following the 2006 elections, Schumer was appointed to serve as Vice Chair of the Democratic Conference, a position he continues to hold. In 2009, Schumer was selected as the Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, which oversees federal elections, voting rights, campaign finance, and the operation of the Senate complex.

Schumer also sits on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Judiciary Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees, and Border Security; the Joint Economic Committee, where he is the Vice Chairman; and the Joint Committee on the Library.

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Educationally and culturally, the University at Albany-SUNY puts "The World Within Reach" for its 18,000 students. An internationally recognized research university with 58 undergraduate majors and 128 graduate degree programs, UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as public policy, nanotechnology and criminal justice. With a curriculum enhanced by 300 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers. For more information about this globally ranked University, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.shtml.

Kelly Virkler, '09, Department of Chemistry
UAlbany Students

In three and a half years at UAlbany, Kelly Virkler leaves with a Ph.D. and international attention for groundbreaking work related to crime scene forensic evidence.

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