Nearly 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students celebrated their degrees and achievements at ceremonies that took place over the weekend of May 20-22, Le Moyne’s 72nd commencement observance.

On Friday night, more than 300 students took part in the graduate commencement ceremony on the Le Moyne campus. And on Sunday more than 650 students took part in the undergraduate ceremony at the Exposition Center at the New York State Fairgrounds.

On Saturday, an honors convocation, Baccalaureate Mass and reception and an honorary degree ceremony took place on the college campus. Receiving honorary degrees were Dan Cummings, a longtime Central New York newscaster; Dr. Indu Gupta, the Onondaga County Commissioner of Health; and William Whitaker, founding president of the Washington Jesuit Academy. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was bestowed an honorary degree in absentia.

Sunday’s undergraduate ceremony also featured honorary degrees being awarded to the commencement’s co-speakers, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart and Congressman John Katko who represents New York’s 24th District. 

Rep. Katko told the students, “You will not always see eye to eye with your co-worker, classmate, family member or friend. But remember one simple thing: You are not always right and opposing views often have merit.” He encouraged them to pursue progress where “it is your responsibility to find common ground and to take those courageous stands when the situation warrants it.”

Capehart offered similar advice, saying, “When it comes to policy — any policy — Rep. Katko and I will not agree on much of anything. And that’s fine. That’s what makes our democracy great.” He added that “our past ability to debate, move forward — however haltingly — has made our nation the envy of the world.”

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