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University at Albany Celebrates Winter Commencement, December 6

ALBANY, N.Y. (December 1, 2015) – Nearly 900 students are expected to earn their degrees from the University at Albany at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 6, during Winter Commencement at the SEFCU Arena.

The University will present Larry Gold, chairman/founder of Somalogic and a member of UAlbany’s RNA Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board with an honorary degree. The RNA Institute focuses on developing tools and analytics for moving RNA therapeutics down the drug candidate pathway, as well as disseminating these tools and technologies through collaborations with researchers in a breadth of disciplines and disease focuses, critical to human health.

Undergraduate Studies

An estimated 594 undergraduates will receive degrees in about 56 different majors. Some of the most popular undergraduate degree programs include psychology, business, communication, sociology, and human biology.

Graduates hail from nine states and 11 different countries, including Canada, China, Ghana, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and Turkey. The class’ oldest graduate is 54, while the youngest is 20 years old. Females make up 52 percent of the class, and 28 percent are first-generation students.

Graduate and Doctoral Studies

More than 300 graduate students will receive a master’s degree, a doctorate, or a graduate certificate at winter commencement. The most popular graduate degree programs include mental health counseling, computer science, curriculum development and instructional technology, literacy, and public health.

Graduate students come from 10 states and 23 countries, including Bangladesh, Belize, China, India, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe. The class’ oldest graduate is 61, while the youngest is 21 years old. Female students make up about 63 percent of the class.

This year’s winter commencement also features 20 graduating military veterans. 13 will be receiving an undergraduate degree, while seven are earning a master’s degree, doctorate or graduate certificate.

Larry Gold Headshot
Larry Gold, chairman/founder of Somalogic.

Honorary Degree Recipient, Larry Gold

Larry Gold is the founder/chairman of the board, and former CEO of SomaLogic. Through SomaLogic, Gold’s objective is to improve individual quality of life by transforming how diseases are detected and diagnosed. He’s determined to change healthcare for the better through teaching, research, and debate among scientists and citizens throughout the world.

Prior to Somalogic, Gold founded and was the chairman of NeXagen, Inc., which later became NeXstar Pharmaceuticals, Inc. In 1999, NeXstar merged with Gilead Sciences, Inc. to form a global organization committed to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel products that treat infectious diseases.

Currently, Gold also serves on the board of directors for CompleGen, Plato BioPharma, and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. He’s recently become the CEO for PRAAN Biosciences, a new biotech company in Boulder, Colorado.

Gold is a member of the Institute for Genome Biology External Advisory Board at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and The RNA Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board at UAlbany. In addition, he’s a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.

Since 1970, Gold has been a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He’s established the Gold Lab, which focuses on human disease. Today, the lab is utilizing biological and information technology to improve healthcare.

Annually since 2010, Gold has held the GoldLab Symposia, an annual event that tackles big questions in healthcare. Learn more by visiting

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.