Graduate, Doctoral and Adult Undergraduates Receive Degrees
Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations
May 22, 2023 — On Friday, May 19, the College honored over 500 adult undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students during its Commencement ceremony on the Campus Green.
Graduate programs at Marist span a wide range, from MBA and MPA to teacher education and a doctorate in physical therapy. These programs are designed to equip students with the skills necessary to address real-world challenges, whether in various industries, public service, or the pursuit of improved health and wellness.
President Kevin Weinman acknowledged the difficult balance many of these graduates have had to manage to get to this point, juggling busy personal lives along with their studies.
“As someone who has spent the majority of the years of my adult life pursuing advanced studies, sometimes full-time, sometimes part-time, I have special admiration for tonight’s graduates,” said Weinman. “Many of you have juggled jobs, family responsibilities, civic obligations, and other duties alongside your studies at Marist. This has always been a difficult balance, but even more so these last few years as we navigated through and beyond a global pandemic. Your perseverance and dedication are impressive.”
Jerome Pickett '98, who also received his MBA from Marist during the ceremony, addressed the graduates and received the Distinguished Alumni Medal. Pickett served in the United States Secret Service, and later served as executive vice president & chief security officer for the National Basketball Association. He is the founder of Synth Advisory Services and is also a member of the Marist College Board of Trustees.
During his commencement address, Pickett spoke of the importance of service, the power of positivity, and celebrating the victories of others. He then announced that he and his family would pledge a $150,000 donation to name the mock courtroom in the new Dyson Center, set to open next year.
“It’s our duty to reach back and help guide the next generation of leaders who will follow our path. We are 50,000 alumni strong,” said Pickett. “This is a fantastic institution to whom I owe my success and I’m thrilled to have shared this unforgettable day with you all.”
See Pickett’s full address here.
Kaden Maguire received the Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies and Joe Duraes received the Award for Academic Distinction.
Maguire graduates with a Master of Arts in clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) and received the program’s 2023 Outstanding Student Award for exceptional performance. During their speech, Maguire discussed contributing to the overall well-being of the community post-graduation.
“We have each come to Marist from different walks of life and after we cross this stage and are handed our diplomas, we will continue on our own unique paths, diverging and possible re-intertwining with one another throughout our careers,” said Maguire.
Duraes graduates with the highest grade point ranking among adult undergraduate students and completes his degree with Alpha Sigma Lambda honors. He returned to college more than 20 years after receiving his associate's degree. He majored in professional studies with a focus on organizational communication, management studies, and behavioral studies at Marist.
“Returning to college was a dream come true for me,” said Duraes. “It’s a very exciting day for all of us. We did it and you should all be very proud of yourselves. We are now forever bonded to Marist through making a commitment to staying focused, making it through to graduation and making a positive change in your lives.”
The full Commencement ceremony for adult undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students can be found here.