Students and their families, as well as College of Staten Island faculty and staff, gathered yesterday in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall to recognize the achievements of the College’s top graduates at the second annual Honors Convocation. The event was emceed by Michael Daniels, Acting Vice President for Student Affairs.

After opening greetings from Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. William Fritz, CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales, in his comments, said that he was “honored to be in the presence of the soon-to-be graduates,” calling them “the finest ambassadors this school will ever have.” He added that the Honors graduates “show the world the value of a CSI education” and that “through [their] achievement and hard work, [they] reaffirm for us–faculty and staff–the very reasons we have devoted our lives to public higher education.”

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Dr. Morales then introduced the student speaker, Dorothy Caldone, who will be attending Columbia Teacher’s College in the fall, where she will engage in graduate work in international education policy.

Caldone noted that her CSI experience encompassed a wonderful journey that involved study abroad opportunities in Spain and Argentina, and led to volunteer time in Costa Rica, adding, “The life-changing experiences I had at the College of Staten Island helped me to re-evaluate my academic focus from education at home to education and policy abroad. I am sure many of you here tonight have also arrived at graduation in a manner that was different from your original intention. The value of an undergraduate education comes from what we learn both inside and outside the classroom. By having the freedom to test our limits, we have learned how far we can go and how much we can achieve in an environment that encourages such exploration.”

The evening also included Carol Brower, Acting Associate Dean for Student Affairs, ceremoniously presenting the Student Dolphin Award to CSI Student Government President Peter DeCrescenzo (he will receive the actual award at the Dolphin Award ceremony following Commencement), and Dr. Gail Simmons, Dean of Science and Technology, and Dr. Francisco Soto, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, presenting the Academic Honors and Student Leadership Awards.

Graduating Senior Dorothy Caldone gives the student speech at the second annual Honors Convocation.