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University at Albany Celebrates Winter Commencement, December 16

Internationally Acclaimed Writer Carol Gilligan, Distinguished Public Servant John Egan Awarded Honorary Degrees

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 17, 2012) -- More than 1,000 students earned their degrees from the University at Albany on Sunday, December 16 during winter commencement at UAlbany’s SEFCU Arena. Internationally acclaimed author Carol Gilligan and longtime New York State Office of General Services Commissioner John Egan received honorary degrees from the State University of New York. Gilligan delivered the keynote address during the ceremony. 

UAlbany winter commencement
UAlbany's winter commencement ceremony will be held at SEFCU Arena on December 16. (Photo Mark Schmidt)

Approximately 630 undergraduates received degrees in about 50 different majors, including psychology, business, sociology, economics, accounting and history. Graduates hail from nine states and 11 different countries, including Bangladesh, China, Cyprus, Mexico, Serbia, Sweden and South Africa. The oldest graduate is 54, while the youngest is 20. Males make up about 53 percent of the class, and there are 14 veterans receiving degrees.

About 440 graduate students received a master’s degree, a doctorate or a graduate certificate at commencement. The most popular degree programs include public health, information science and mental health counseling. Graduate students come from 15 states and 24 countries, including Belarus, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Peru and Turkey. About 64 percent are females, and there are seven veterans receiving degrees.

Internationally Acclaimed Writer, Carol Gilligan

Acclaimed psychologist and prolific writer, Carol Gilligan is considered to be a pioneer of gender studies, particularly the psychological and moral development of girls. As a feminist, scholar, professor and author, she has helped to form a new direction for women.

Gilligan began her career in academia at Harvard in 1967. She subsequently became a research assistant for Lawrence Kohlberg, who is known for his research on moral development and his stage theory of moral development, justice and rights.

In 1982 she published her landmark book, In A Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development, which attacked accepted notions of female growth and development and was the very first study to draw attention to the silencing of adoles¬cent girls. The book had an enormous impact on a variety of fields, including psychology, education, gender studies, and feminist theory. Since its publication, Gilligan has become one of the world's most respected thinkers on gender issues.

Gilligan received tenure as a full professor for the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1986, and spent 1992-1994 teaching at the University of Cambridge in England as a Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions. In 1997, she became Harvard’s first professor of Gender Studies, occupying the Patricia Albjerg Graham chair.

The recipient of numerous awards, Ms. Magazine named Gilligan Woman of the Year in 1984. She received a Senior Research Scholar award from the Spencer Foundation and a Grawemeyer Award for her contributions to education in 1992. She also received a Heinz Award for her contributions to understanding the human condition. In 1996, she was named one ofTime Magazine's 25 most influential people in America.

Distinguished Public Servant, John Egan

John C. Egan's distinguished career with the State of New York spans more than fifty years. Egan has dedi¬cated his career to serving the greater community and in doing so, he has shaped the local landscape. He has been centrally involved in many projects across the Capital Region including the construction of the Empire State Plaza and the Harriman Office Building Campus, both iconic features of the Albany skyline.

From 1980-1989, Egan served as commissioner of the Office of General Services (OGS) under Governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. In addition to his OGS service, Egan was appoint¬ed executive director of the New York State Dormitory Authority and commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation. Egan previ¬ously served as chairman of the Harriman Research and Technology Development Corporation, a partner¬ship involving UAlbany that sought to create research and office facilities on the Harriman Campus for science and technology innovation. He also served as executive director of the New York State Task Force on High Speed Rail.

Beyond his record of excellence in state service, Egan continued to make major contributions to the Capital Region while serving as chief executive officer of the Albany International Airport from 1995-2003. There he oversaw a complete renovation of the facility, and was also instrumental in establishing the airport's relationship with Southwest Airlines.

A veteran of the United States Army and a member of numerous civic and professional organi¬zations, Egan has served on several boards, including the Wildwood Programs Advisory Board, the Implementation Team for Tech Valley High School, and the Board of Trustees for Catholic Charities. He is a member and/or trustee of numerous business groups such as Center for Economic Growth, the Chamber of Commerce, and the American Legion.