The College of Staten Island celebrated its 69th Commencement exercises today, as over 2,500 graduates donned their caps and gowns and collected on the campus’ Great Lawn. The rousing ceremony saw several CSI student-athletes in attendance receiving their diplomas, with a collection receiving awards and citations from commencement and academic departments.

President William J. Fritz delivered the celebration’s inaugural address, citing the College of Staten Island’s standing as an institution of excellence locally, regionally, and nationally. Greetings were then delivered by the CUNY Trustee Michael Arvanites, and CUNY Executive and Provost Vita Rabinowitz.  Commencement then gave way to keynote speaker Tyehimba Jess, English professor at CSI and recent Pulitzer Prize recipient for poetry.

Presidential medals were conferred to Bernard J. Carabello, Anthony C. Ferreri, Ira S. Persky and Nan M. Sussman by President Fritz, followed by the address from Class of 2018 Valedictorian Lauren McKenna.  United States Senator Chuck Schumer also sent greetings to the graduates near the end of the ceremony.

Department exercises followed Commencement and there, various CSI student-athletes shined in their respective academic disciplines.

Commencement followed Honors Convocation on Thursday of last week, where a handful of student-athletes earned deserving praise.  Women’s Swimming senior Ewa Wojciechowska, CSI’s and the CUNYAC’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year was awarded the CSI Auxiliary Services Corporation Award for Academic Excellence in English,  while women’s soccer senior Concetta Perito took home the Benedict Carlat Memorial Award for Outstanding Work in Mathematics.  Men’s Basketball senior Edin Bracic took home the Melvin Baumel Memorial Basketball Award while senior pair Samantha Flecker (women’s basketball) and Brandon Lei (men’s swimming and volleyball) was respective Student-Athlete of the Year awards.

In all, it was a rousing celebration on a beautiful afternoon worthy of celebration.

Congratulations to all of the 2018 College of Staten Island graduates.