University Celebrates May 2022 Commencement, Awards Honorary Degree to Alumna
Achievers shared expertise from such areas as leadership, innovation, research and development, finance and charitable accomplishments in addressing SUNY Oswego’s graduating Class of 2022 at three May Commencement ceremonies held on campus on May 14, 2022.
The following shared some words of wisdom as keynote speakers: Jason T. Serrano ’97, chief executive officer and president of New York Mortgage Trust Inc., during the School of Business ceremony; Susannah Melchior Schaefer ’90, president and chief executive officer for Smile Train, during the School of Communication, Media and the Arts and the School of Education joint ceremony; and Joseph Lauko, executive vice president/chief operating officer for SRC Inc. and chair of SRC International Inc., during the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ceremony.
Schaefer, who earned a bachelor’s in communications with a concentration in public relations, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the State University of New York. She was recognized for her visionary leadership of the world’s largest cleft organization, Smile Train, as well as for her personal passion for protecting the world’s most vulnerable.
“Every bit as important as the things I learned in the classroom were the traits I gained from my Oswego experience and my degree in communications,” she said. “Oswego taught me how to think and how to work hard; how to trust my own judgment and to believe in myself; and, more critically—how to communicate.”
She noted the supreme importance of communication was also one of the most critical lessons she learned from her beloved mentor, Smile Train’s late founder, Charles B. Wang: “Charles would say that you can … have the best idea in the world, but if you can’t communicate your ideas well, your brilliance, your drive, your unique self will not shine through and set YOU apart from the rest. And he’s absolutely right. Putting in the work to be effective, thoughtful and compassionate in your interactions with others is crucial. Approaching people with an open mind and open ears—listening!—will be key to your success throughout your professional and personal lives.”
You can watch all three ceremonies in their entirety on SUNYOswegoVideo YouTube channel, using direct links:
- 9 a.m.: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- 12:30 p.m.: School of Business
- 4 p.m.: School of Communication, Media and the Arts AND the School of Education
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