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UAlbany Announces Commencement Weekend 2006

Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 12, 2006) -- The University at Albany will hold its Commencement Weekend 2006, which includes a formal graduate commencement ceremony on May 20, the main undergraduate degree conferral ceremony on May 21, and individual departmental and school recognition ceremonies throughout the weekend. An estimated 2,800 students are expected to participate in the 162nd commencement ceremonies including 1,846 undergraduate and 991 graduate degree applicants (160 doctoral, 794 masters, 31 certificates - advanced and graduate).

The undergraduate degree conferral ceremony will take place on Sunday, May 21, at 10 a.m. on the New Library lawn, uptown campus. Vice President for student success and Vice Provost James Anderson will deliver the undergraduate address. The graduate commencement will be held at the uptown campus Recreation and Convocation Center (RACC) on Saturday, May 20, at 9 a.m. and the address will be delivered by Alphonse Fletcher Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Fletcher Asset Management, Inc.

Three honorary degrees will also be awarded at the graduate commencement ceremony. The University at Albany will confer the Doctor of Laws honorary degree to its 14th president, Vincent O'Leary, who served a 13-year tenure that transformed the school from a college for teachers to a major university center. UAlbany alumna Maureen A. Baginski, who received both her bachelor's ('77) and master's ('79) in Russian, will receive the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters for her work in public service realized through positions at both the National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Doctor of Human Letters will also be awarded to graduate commencement speaker Alphonse Fletcher Jr., known for his business acumen and success in finance and investment management as well as his philanthropy on behalf of the environment and education including initiatives that seek to improve race relations and to illuminate civil rights issues.

The undergraduates will receive degrees in 54 different majors, including Information Science and Policy, Business, Biology, Communication, Economics, English, Criminal Justice, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology. There are 25 military veterans in the Class of 2006. UAlbany's undergraduate class hails from 52 foreign countries including China, Jamaica, Ghana, and Trinidad, and Tobago, as well as 17 states of the union. About 122 undergraduates participated in the Presidential Scholars program, which recognizes and nurtures students with distinguished high school academic records. The average cumulative GPA for the undergraduate class is 3.1 and 11 students are graduating with a perfect 4.0. Slightly more than half - 55 percent - of the Class of 2006 are women.

UAlbany's Commencement Weekend also includes individual departmental and school recognition ceremonies with guest speakers including Jiangsu Province Party Secretary Li Yuanchao, who will speak at the UAlbany School of Business graduation ceremony at 2 p.m. on May 21. His speech follows on the heels of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with SUNY Chancellor John R. Ryan.

For more information on individual departmental recognition ceremonies and other commencement activities including the senior rite of passage known as "Torch Night," visit the Commencement Web site. All Commencement activities will take place, rain or shine, as scheduled. In the event of severe weather (lightning, high winds), an announcement will be posted on the Web site and the Commencement Info Line (518) 437-5040, noting any cancellations.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages more than 17,000 diverse students in 10 schools and colleges. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit the University at Albany. Visit UAlbany's extensive roster of Faculty Experts.

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