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UAlbany Celebrates 173rd Commencement

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 12, 2017) – Marking the culmination of years of hard work and success, more than 3,300 students are set to receive degrees during the University at Albany’s 173rd Commencement from May 19-21.

The weekend begins with the graduate ceremony on Friday, May 19, followed by the baccalaureate torch reception on Saturday, May 20, and closing with the undergraduate ceremony on Sunday, May 21.

UAlbany students celebrate 2016's undergraduate commencement.
UAlbany celebrates its 173rd commencement ceremonies, May 19-21. (Photo by Carlo de Jesus)

Undergraduate Commencement, May 21:

About 2,360 undergraduates are set to receive degrees at the undergraduate commencement ceremony, Sunday, May 21 at 11 a.m. on the University’s Entry Plaza lawn. Among those graduating, 31 percent are first generation college graduates, and 31 are veterans. Males and females each make up 50 percent of the class, with an average age of 23. The oldest graduate in the class is 66, while the youngest is 19.

The most popular undergraduate degree programs are psychology, business, communication, human biology, sociology, accounting and economics. Students hail from 20 states and 23 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Peru, The Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

The undergraduate commencement speaker this year is U.S. Astronaut and retired Navy Captain Scott Kelly, who became America’s first year-round astronaut during his historic mission from March 2015 to March 2016 aboard the International Space Station.

Captain Kelly’s commencement address is supported through the University at Albany Speaker Series, which brings renowned guest speakers from across the globe to campus in order to engage the University community in compelling and purposeful discussions addressing contemporary issues and events. Since its inception in 2008, it has featured such icons as President Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Barbara Walters, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Bill Nye, and, most recently, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Graduate Commencement, May 19:

Among the graduate degree recipients, 799 students are set to receive master’s degrees, while UAlbany will also award 126 doctorates and 31 graduate certificates at the graduate ceremony on May 19, at 5 p.m. in SEFCU Arena. Females make up 63 percent of the graduate student population, and the most popular degree programs are in social work, accounting, business, public health, public administration and computer science. The average age of graduate students is 29, with the oldest student receiving their doctorate at 76, and the youngest student receiving a master’s degree at 20. There are 11 veterans among the graduate degree recipients.

Graduate degree recipients hail from 19 states and 26 nations, including Bangladesh, China, Cameroon, Colombia, Great Britain, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.

Numerous school and college undergraduate recognition ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 20, where students will have their names read. Additionally, UAlbany will once again host a few special recognition ceremonies, including an international celebration, hosted by International Student and Scholar Services, on May 18, at 2:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom, and the 2017 lavender celebration on May 19, at 1 p.m. in the ballroom. The lavender celebration is sponsored by the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement, The Gender & Sexuality Concerns Office, The Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Undergraduate Education, and University Auxiliary Services.

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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.