Nicholas T. Pinchuk, CEO of Snap-on, gives the keynote address on Saturday.
BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southern Vermont College recognized 84 degree candidates and 2 certificate recipients at its 91st commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12, on the Greystone Lawn of the Everett Mansion.
An honorary degree of humane letters was awarded to Nicholas T. Pinchuk, chairman and chief executive officer of Snap-on Inc. and formerly president of global refrigeration operations for Carrier Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp.
Pinchuk is a leader on workforce development and technical education and careers. Recognizing his role in the formation of the nation's technical education agenda, the Career and Technical Education Foundation named him the National Business Leader of the Year in 2011. SkillsUSA named him Champion of the Year in 2012, recognizing his extensive support for the growth of a skilled American workforce. Pinchuk addressed the graduates as commencement speaker.
President David Evans, in his welcoming remarks to the graduates, said, "This is a day of joy, a rite of passage that marks your very significant achievement and milestone from which you should draw great strength. You have done good work. You will do more good work. We are counting on you."
Two selected student class speakers offered sentiments about their experience at SVC in remarks to their classmates: Queenie Lyka Garrison of North Bennington and Sharlyne Mary Marte of New York City.
"America is about the pursuit of happiness, you are charged with leading and pursuing," Pinchuk told the graduates. "I'm going to advise you to communicate and to be curious. This time is your time. People are looking at you. The world is watching. You have an impact on the future, but you have an impact now."
He continued in saying, "All of you are the leaders of the many. You're going to move to a place where the goals are bigger than yourself. The more you focus on something the stronger you will be."
He said they will see change and that they should do something about it.
The college recognized 83 bachelor's degree candidates, one associate's degree candidate, and two College Steps certificate recipients. The baccalaureate degree valedictorian was Queenie Lyka Garrison of North Bennington and the baccalaureate degree salutatorian was Torrey Kurtzner of Bennington.
Assistant professor Lynda Sinkiewich of The Hunter Division of Humanities was elected by her peers to deliver farewell remarks from the faculty.
Three traditional awards were presented to graduating students. The William A. Glasser Award, honoring a student for achieving outstanding personal and academic growth while at the college, was given to Melissa Noelle Mascari of Wilton, N.Y. The Lynda Curry Memorial Award, honoring the graduate who best exemplifies the fulfillment of the college's mission, was given to Sharlyne Mary Marte of New York City. The Edward H. Everett Award, acknowledging numerous contributions to the Southern Vermont College community, was presented to Bridget Cain of Newark, Del.
Graduates Chyenne Deja Daley of Bronx, N.Y.; Tanisha K. Wright of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Benyamin Zvi Wurmfeld of Nassau, N.Y.; and Mikaela Marie Zemaitis of Watertown, Conn., were recognized for publishing their first novel through the Shires Press Publishing Program, a four-semester curriculum offered through SVC's Hunter Division of Humanities and a partnership with Northshire Bookstore.
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