Honoring the Class of 2023 Undergraduates
May 22, 2023 — Thousands visited Marist’s riverfront campus over the weekend to celebrate and honor nearly 1,800 graduates who are part of the Class of 2023. The College’s 77th Commencement ceremonies were filled with inspired speeches and celebrations. On Saturday, traditional undergraduates were honored with Bachelor’s Degrees, while the evening before adult undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students received their degrees.
The undergraduate ceremony on Saturday honored a class that arrived four years ago with their college career spanning times of optimism, uncertainty and then renewal post-pandemic. Now, as the class departs Marist, they begin new adventures ready to embark on the next chapter of their lives. Marist College President Kevin Weinman noted their unique journey starting with their arrival in August 2019.
“The world has thrown so much at you since that August day. In March 2020, the global pandemic sent you home to continue classes remotely and apart from your classmates,” said Weinman. “Although you are each unique individuals, you now join a new club with common standing, and that’s the community of Marist alumni. You will share an inseparable bond forever with more than 50,000 Marist graduates around the world.”
Best-selling author of the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series Jeff Kinney addressed undergraduates and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has sold over 275 million copies globally. After taking a humorous look at his long road to success as an author, Kinney imparted a plea to the Class of 2023 with an uplifting message.
“Your generation is good. You believe in justice. You believe in equality. You believe in inclusion,” said Kinney. “You’re not satisfied with the world we’ve made for you, and you shouldn’t be. You can do better than us. And you will.”
Kinney continued, “A commencement isn’t just a celebration, it’s a passing of the baton. It gives the rest of us a chance to project our hopes onto you. We’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. But we also know that the accomplishments you’ve racked up here will pale in comparison to what you achieve in the future,” he said.
See Kinney’s full address to students here.
Class Valedictorian Jessica Jaeb double majored in history and communication with a concentration in public relations and a minor in African diaspora studies.
“Let’s take what we’ve learned from this community, and apply it wherever we go by continuing to open doors for others, both literally and figuratively,” said Jaeb. “We are all here to make a difference and Marist has given us the tools to do this.”
The full Commencement for traditional undergraduate students can be found here.
Honors Program Medal Ceremony
Commencement weekend kicked off Friday morning with the Honors Program Medals Ceremony in the McCann Arena. Dr. Carolyn Matheus, Director of the Honors Program, led the ceremony, which honored students from all six academic schools.
Dr. Edward Antonio, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, delivered the keynote address.
The full Honors Program Medal Ceremony can be found here.
Physician Assistant Program Awards Ceremony
The Annual Awards Ceremony for the Physician Assistant Program honoring the Marist PA Class of 2023, was led by program director Dr. Jeff Midgley.
The full PA Program Awards Ceremony can be found here.
Baccalaureate Awards Ceremony
The Baccalaureate Awards, took place on Friday afternoon. Dr. Catherine Gunther Kodat, Provost and Dean of Faculty, led the ceremony where students from each school, along with the Office for Student Affairs and the Alumni Association, were recognized and celebrated.
The full Baccalaureate Awards Ceremony can be found here.