Associate Professor David Smith, Michael Weilheimer ’83, School of Business Dean Donald Siegel and Assistant Professor Marty Fogelman

“As you sit here today, know that the most important time to focus on a brand is when it’s being launched. That’s when the buzz is most important. Today you are standing in front of a clean whiteboard ready to create your brand. If you define it with passion, confidence, preparedness, humor, humility and appreciation, if you support it with patience and flexibility, and if you go the extra yard when called for, your chances of success will increase immeasurably. Your brand is your reputation, it’s what you stand for, it’s what you embody and it’s what others will define you by. In every walk of life, always contemplate the possible implications of your decisions and actions on your brand.

UAlbany has given you the skill set to succeed in the workplace and in life. Now it’s up to you to mold them into a successful brand and sell it. Good luck to you on this exciting journey, and congratulations to you, the Class of 2015.”

Excerpt from commencement address
by Michael Weilheimer ’83,
vice president at Eaton Vance

Associate Dean Hany Shawky, Lassamy Sesay ’15 and Assistant Director of Graduate Student Services Jason Cotugno
The single most inspirational and the single most influential person in my life is my mother. About 10 years ago she brought me and my siblings to New York City from Sierra Leone, West Africa, after we lost my father to cancer. With no college degree, just a high-school education, my mother worked 16 hours a day, six days of the week.


We lived in a disadvantaged neighborhood that was dominated by crime. We lived in a one bedroom apartment; my mother and my sister shared a bedroom, my brothers and I occupied the living room. After analyzing our living situation, I came to the conclusion that my mother had done her very best, and that it was now left to me and my siblings to improve the family’s socio-economic status.

That was when I chose education. That was when I chose this great institution. A school with great faculty members, a great alumni network and absolutely great student organizations.

The University at Albany has changed my life. The University at Albany has changed our lives.”

Excerpt from commencement address by
graduating senior Lassamy Sesay ’15

The Class of 2015

Sorority Sisters at Commencement Students carrying gonfalons
students at commencement
Friends faculty in regalia