Onondaga Community College Will Host Three Socially Distanced Commencement Ceremonies Saturday

Graduates of Henninger High School, Liverpool High School, and Native of Brooklyn Selected to be Student Speakers

Onondaga Community College will celebrate its 58th commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 15 at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m. in the SRC Arena. Over 400 students total will participate in the three ceremonies. These students completed their coursework in either the fall 2020, spring 2021, or summer 2021 semesters. To meet all social distance requirements the following procedures are in place.

Saturday, May 15 at 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 5 p.m.
SRC Arena and Events Center, Onondaga Community College, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215-4585.

  • All event attendees must have either proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test within three days of the ceremonies.
  • Each student may bring a maximum of two guests.
  • Graduating students were divided up for the three ceremonies based on the schools their degree programs are in.
    • 9 a.m. ceremony
      • School of Art, Design, Media & Music
      • School of Computing & Applied Technologies
      • School of Math Science & Engineering
    • 1 p.m. ceremony
      • School of Education
      • School of Liberal Arts
    • 5 p.m. ceremony
      • School of Business
      • School of Health
      • School of Public Safety & Community Service
    • Rather than the standard commencement-type seating on the floor of the SRC Arena, each student will be assigned his or her own table where they will be joined by their two guests.
    • The SRC Arena will be cleaned and sanitized between each ceremony.

Watch Commencement Live and Later:

  • The ceremonies can be viewed live on Onondaga Community College’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. The entire production crew will be comprised of current and past OCC Broadcast Media Communication students and faculty.
  • The ceremony will be rebroadcast on WSYR TV’s “Antenna TV” Saturday, May 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Antenna TV can be found at 9.2 with a digital antenna, Spectrum Cable channel 1240, Verizon Fios channel 470, and New Visions cable channel 23.

Student Speakers: Each year Onondaga Community College selects a graduating student to deliver the commencement address. This year we have three speakers, one for each ceremony. (Click on image below to enlarge.)

9am Commencement Speaker: Cristian Pompey is a Brooklyn native who earned a degree in Mathematics & Science. During his time on campus he served as an RA in the residence hall, a member of the Unity Day committee, vice president of the Makerspace Club, a student ambassador for Extraordinary Men of Distinction, worked in the office of the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program, and was supported by the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Cristian will transfer to the University of Buffalo and pursue a degree in Computer Engineering.

1pm Commencement Speaker: Si Po Ra immigrated to the United States from Burma, graduated from Henninger High School in 2019, and enrolled at OCC where she earned a degree in Humanities & Social Sciences. SUNY named her one of just 45 students statewide to receive the Norman R. McConney Jr. Award for Student Excellence. The award highlights outstanding students in the Educational Opportunity Program for their academic excellence and strength in overcoming significant personal obstacles throughout their lives. Si Po is transferring to Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs where she will major in International Relations.

5pm Commencement Speaker: Hunter Scholl is a 2019 graduate of Liverpool High School who is receiving a degree in Communication Studies. He was a member of the College’s chapter of honor society Phi Theta Kappa which was recently ranked in the top ten in the world for the third year in a row. Scholl will transfer to SUNY Geneseo and pursue a bachelor’s degree in Communications. Because he was born in Russia and adopted when he was 13 months old, Scholl plans to one day work with adoption agencies and help orphans.

Honorary Degrees: The honorary degree is the highest form of recognition offered by the State University of New York to persons of exceptional distinction. OCC is honoring four individuals who have exhibited professional excellence, meritorious and outstanding service, and whose accomplishments serve as examples of the SUNY system’s diverse student body. All of the honorary degrees will be awarded at the 9 a.m. ceremony:

  •  Mantosh Dewan, President and SUNY Distinguished Professor, Upstate Medical University, for his leadership and critical guidance to both Onondaga Community College and the entire SUNY system throughout the pandemic.
  • Joseph Geglia, Executive Director, Elmcrest Children’s Center, for being a compassionate leader whose work has touched the lives of thousands throughout his career.
  • Bethaida “Bea” Gonzalez, Retired Community Leader and Educator, for her extraordinary service to the community both as a public officeholder and for ensuring the academic success of countless students.
  • Dr. Indu Gupta, Commissioner of Health of Onondaga County, for her efforts leading the community through the COVID-19 pandemic which include