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UAlbany Celebrates 174th Commencement

Dan Hart ’83, CEO of Virgin Orbit, will serve as keynote speaker for the University-wide undergraduate ceremony on Sunday, May 20.

Photo by Carlo de Jesus

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 8, 2018) – Marking the culmination of their hard work and success, more than 3,300 students are set to receive degrees during the University at Albany’s 174th Commencement Weekend from May 18-20.

The weekend begins with the master’s ceremony on Friday, May 18, followed by the torch reception – celebrating the transition from student to alumni – on Saturday, May 19, and closing with the undergraduate and doctoral ceremonies on Sunday, May 20.

All ceremonies will be live streamed and recorded. You can also follow on social media using #UAlbanyGrad.

Undergraduate Commencement:

About 2,320 undergraduates are set to receive degrees at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20, at 10 a.m. on the University’s Uptown Entry Plaza lawn.

Among those graduating, 31 percent are first-generation college graduates, and 32 are veterans. The graduates range in age from 19 to 55, with an average age of 23. Women make up 53 percent of the class.

The most popular undergraduate degree programs are psychology, business, communication, human biology, economics, accounting and sociology. Students hail from 17 states and 19 countries, including China, Germany, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Taiwan.

Undergraduate Commencement Speakers:

Dan Hart ’83, CEO of Virgin Orbit.
Dan Hart ’83, CEO of Virgin Orbit.

This year’s keynote undergraduate commencement speaker is Dan Hart ’83, CEO of Virgin Orbit. Financed by entrepreneur Richard Branson, Hart is leading a team of more than 400 who are dedicated to building a launch system that can send tiny satellites into space.

Over the course of his career, Hart has served in senior leadership roles across a wide range of aerospace programs, spanning human spaceflight, satellite development, launch, and missile defense and running through all phases of the aerospace product life cycle, from research and development through design, production, and space-flight operations.

He’s a graduate of UAlbany’s undergraduate Physics program, and currently serves on the Executive Board of the California Science Center.

You can read more about him in UAlbany’s Spring 2018 Magazine.

UAlbany senior Madeeha Khan has been chosen to serve as student speaker. An international student from New Delhi, India, Khan was the undergraduate student representative on the University’s presidential search committee, an orientation leader, a peer mentor for the Writing and Critical Inquiry program, and currently serves as a housing manager on Freedom Apartments, vice president of the Student Association and a Purple & Gold Ambassador. She will earn a bachelor's degree in computer science with a minor in business.

Graduate Commencements:

More than 980 students will receive master’s degrees, doctoral degrees and graduate certificates at the master’s and graduate certificate ceremony on Friday, May 18, at 5 p.m. in SEFCU Arena and the doctoral ceremony on Sunday, May 20, at 2:30 p.m. in Page Hall on the Downtown Campus.

Among the graduate degree recipients, 805 students are set to receive master’s degrees, 134 will receive doctorates and 43 will receive graduate certificates. Women make up 61 percent of the class, and the most popular degree programs are in accounting, business, social welfare, public health, computer science and public administration. The average age of the graduates is 28, with the oldest student receiving their doctorate at 64, and the youngest student receiving a master’s degree at 21.

Students hail from 17 states and 26 nations, including Afghanistan, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Jamaica, Korea, Morocco, Netherlands, Peru, Turkey and Vietnam.

There are 23 veterans among the graduate degree recipients.

Other Commencement Festivities:

Numerous school and college undergraduate recognition ceremonies will also take place on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, where students will have their names read as they cross the stage.

Additionally, UAlbany will once again host a few special recognition ceremonies, including an international celebration, hosted by International Student and Scholar Services, on Wednesday, May 16, at 2:30 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom, and the 2018 Lavender Celebration on Thursday, May 17, at 3 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. The Lavender Celebration honors the achievements of graduating LGBTQ+ students and their supporters.

View the full schedule of commencement ceremonies here.

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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.