(Applause) Good morning, I was asked to give a couple of words right before I prayed. I want you to know it’s my honor to offer these prayers on behalf of Doctor Ramsammy and the Hudson Valley Community College family. I want to offer congratulations to not only him, but also the board of directors, the staff and students. When Doctor Ramsammy arrived, and he and I we got together and we talked about ways in which we could collaborate, to make Hudson Valley stronger. One of his goals was to breakdown the invisible walls that surround the Hudson Valley Community College, and often times the rest of the region. His desire was to expand this place past the borders of Rensselaer County and into other regions. And I must say that I was quite amazed to hear how he collaborated or he fostered a collaboration between Northern Rivers Family Services, where they developed and earn while you learn a program. And what happens in state and now have a program where they are paying the workers there, To actually earn college credits. And it’s an amazing program, and then further, this past week, The pathways project between the University of Albany, Doctor Havidan Rodriguez And Doctor Ramsammy. That’s a powerful thing in our region where our students now have a pathway to a 4 year college. So what I’m trying to do is, I’m trying to give you a brief snippet of the things that he’s accomplished in such a short amount of time and as we all know with any transition, there’s going to be challenges. There’s going to be often times, resistance. and one of the things that I know in order for things to move forward, we need a visionary, and we also need people that are going to help him fulfill the vision. And I believe, that God has given Hudson Valley Community College that vote. he’s given a visionary that’s traveled thousands of miles to come to this place. As the word of the Lord says, that God knows the appointed time for people to be born in the exact place for them to live. And I believe that And I believe that God has chosen this moment for Doctor Ramsammy and his great family to live in the Albany, NY area. So that we can come up and we can even be, not only, a regional college making an impact, but a college that’s going to make a greater impact nationally and around the world. And so my prayer today as I offer this on behalf of the school and Doctor Ramsammy, is that he would have continued favor. That, he would have knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and discretion, as he applies his duties that the board here at Hudson Valley Community College will perform their fiduciary duties with great respect, integrity, wisdom, and honor. And also that the staff here, would grab hold of the great vision that this man has an Idea, and leads you forward with the same, and have a greater passion for teaching, and a greater passion for the students. And that the students that you have will excel. Will you bow your heads with me? Father in the name of the Lord. We thank you for this time together, we ask that you would continue to direct the steps of this great man. We thank you for bringing him here. Oh, Lord and as we settle these things in our hearts, were asking that your will planted purpose would be done in his life, in his family’s life, in the Board, in the staff, and in the students here at Hudson Valley. And we declare that the whole region. Here, the in Albany, NY will be better, because you have placed him here for such a time as this. Father we ask that you would protect him. We ask, Oh God, that you would bless him, and we ask that your will would be done. Now Lord we ask that you also grace the rest of this ceremony, so that you would get Glory, Honor, Power and Praise. And that Doctor Ramsammy would know, that he has a constituency here That Support him, love him, and embraces the vision that he had. We asked these things in your great name and we thank you for it Amen, and Amen, God bless you all. Applause Welcome and good morning. I’m Lucille Marion. Vice President of Hudson Valley Community College, and Executive Director of the Capital District, Educational Opportunity Center and it is my distinct honor to serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for today’s events. We are honored to host this distinguished Platform Panel whose members have come together today to bring greetings, and remarks, in honor of this occasion that celebrates the future of Hudson Valley Community College, under the leadership of this new president. I offer the warmest of welcomes to all of our distinguished guests, both those on this platform with me and those seated in our audience today. Bring greetings on behalf of the Hudson Valley Community College Board of trustees. Please welcome chairman Neil Kelleher. Thank you Lucy. Football teams here. I got all the gear on thanks fellas. I Appreciate it. And thank you pastor for that great invocation. And thank you Lucy. Doctor Marion excuse me. You know, I’m going to hazard a guess, that one of the first people I met. Here in Hudson Valley when I first joined. Well, the staff in 1987, was Lucy. Which means we’ve only been working together, for about 30 plus years or so. Working together is probably pushing it a little bit. For the first decade or so I probably spent more time hiding from her and her boss, Doctor Bulmer, than I did working with her, or anybody else. But that’s a story for another day I guess. Good morning, everybody. And thank you all for joining us here this morning. Special greetings to the extended Ramsammy family. Who have traveled quite a distance to join us for this very special occasion. I’ve met a few of them before I was in. I had the honour to travel to Trinidad with the President Ramsammy this past winter. Um when we were working with some of the folks from the Education Department down there, putting some programs together, and looking at some possibilities and. It is great to see you folks again, and I wish you safe travel. Um as always, it is an honor, and pleasure to be here, and represent my fellow trustees and bring greetings indeed on their behalf. Along with the always amazing assistance of Treasa Farallon, Dennis Kennedy’s office. I had a page of the wonderful things, to share about doctor R Ramsammy regarding what he’s managed to accomplish already. His foresight plans for the future, and simply stated just how impressed we all are with our new president. But with an eye towards Brevity, Let me just say that, if I’m on this board for another 20 years, and oversee the construction of 10 new buildings. And watch our enrollment double. I’ll still when looking back on my tenure here, at Hudson Valley, consider my one biggest single achievement. That of sharing the search committee that resulted in the hiring of doctor Roger Ramsammy. Awesome. (applause) Now of course, even Batman doesn’t operate alone. And I want to take this opportunity to extend the boards heartfelt thanks, and appreciation, to the wonderful senior leadership team, Rogers put together. Our amazingly talented faculty my former colleagues on our hard working staff, Our community Partners, Foundation members, donors. All those who have chosen to help us in our mission, to provide the very best education possible. To those who make this wonderful campus what it is, that’s our students. On a personal note, I’d also like to thank my fellow trustees. who do all the behind the scenes heavy lifting required, usually with little or no recognition that keeps this awesome institution, moving forward. It is in great part their efforts to keep Hudson Valley in their ranks of the finest Community College, in not just in New York state, but indeed the entire country. To all those I’ve mentioned, and any I may have missed. Thank you again for your dedication in your commitment to HVCC, and more importantly to our students. And, of course, just one more time Doctor Ramsamy. Roger congratulations. Thank you thanks for being my friend. And, please know your entire board of Trustees looks forward to working alongside you, as you lead this college we all love, into a bright new future. You know, some have probably heard that although retired, I did I did come back and take a little part time job with Rensselaer County, thanks to Steve McLaughlin, and some other folks, and that’s I get to work with people struggling with the with the illness of substance use disorder. In fighting this opiate epidemic, which is scourge their whole whole country so terribly. So, before I close I would ask that if you know anybody who’s suffering perhaps, or you yourself, or anyone close to you, or love them perhaps. Don’t be afraid to drop a dime, do the right thing. Call me if you like, I’m always available. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their day here. Thank you again for being here and but wonderful weekend and God bless you all. (Applause) Thank you chairman Kelleher. It is now my pleasure to welcome to the podium. Rensselaer County Executive, Stephen F. McLaughlin, who will bring greetings on behalf of Rensselaer County. (Applause) Thank you so much, and good morning everybody, it’s such a pleasure, and honor to be here and take part in this event. We had such a great time last night at the Gala. And anybody knows Roger knows that he loves to pepper His comments with did you know? Did you Know? And before we headed down from the cocktail party? I said Roger, how many? Did you knows? Do you have in the speech tonight? He said Oh no? I don’t have his speech tonight? 25 minutes later at the podium. After some great comments in a lot of Did you Knows?, thrown in there, he threw one in there that said, please bear with me for just a second he said., Did you know, and then he had a statistic about How many tweets there are every 2nd or every minute of the day and he said. Did you know? He gave the number, and he said, and half of those or from Steve McLaughlin. So bear with me just a second here, I have a tweet to go out. Which I just did, congratulating you Roger, on on your inauguration. It’s a picture of all of you folks as well, so. He, he did have one thing that was wrong. He said, and Roger is very rarely wrong, I’ve learned that. But he said, that the president’s half of, and I and I’m the other half. well, did you know? President Trump has 45,487 tweets and I, have a measly 23,000 and now 245. So, About half, of what the President has. So. You know? Roger and I, and a team of us went down to Costa Rica. Some of you may have read about that trip. So, we went down there to try to build this college and we went down there with Havidan and his team from UAlbany, and it was an amazing experience in a lot of hard work. But there’s a mission there to try to grow the college, and Roger and I, got to spend some time together and it was, it was impressive to be there because, We had his entourage of people that were with us all the time, and about seven SUV’s going everywhere we went. But Roger and I had to speak one night. . It was a Saturday evening. See we were working down there, it was not a vacation. It’s Saturday evening. We had to go to speak, and Roger and I, spent some time together, alone in the car on the drive. About an hour, and we got to talk about all kinds of things. The way I handle things at my office. The way he handles things here. What our visions are, things like that. And what I came away with, and one thing I always say to people, including my own kids, is the map becomes the territory. The map, that you layout, becomes a territory for your life, and what you’re trying to achieve And I came away from that, knowing, that Roger has laid out a map for this institution that will become the territory. So, when Rogers says this will be the greatest career institution in this country, he is correct. that is the map that is the territory that he will follow, and will lead everybody to that destination. And I think we’re well on our way to that. This is a very, very special place. Very special. And it impacts not only Rensselaer County, it impacts this whole region. And we are blessed enough to have it here in this County, and to be the prime sponsor. I will say that we’ve upped our contribution this year to the college, because we believe fully in the mission of this college. so we are very pleased to have updated our contribution to this County and thanks that. ( Applause) Thank you. And certainly the thanks for that goes out to our legislature, Chairman Mike Stammel and the rest of our legislators here for equally supporting the great mission of this County, our trusty Neil Kelleher, who was a former legislator, and chairman of our legislature. All of them work hard. We believe in what this institution does. We just this past summer. A couple weeks ago opened up the Gene Haas Manufacturing Center, An incredible new addition to the County, to the college, into the County, and it’s going to train a whole lot of kids in some very special Applications. but what’s really important today, it’s all about Doctor Ramsammy in this college, and we want to take a moment to congratulate him and his family from Trinidad and here locally. We certainly welcome to the area. I’m sure it’s a little bit colder than Trinidad and you ain’t seen nothing yet. If you stick around about a month or 2, so we invite everyone here to just tour this impressive campus, take a look around. For those of you that aren’t students, or faculty or take a look around, this very, very impressive campus. We are LED now by one of the best and brightest in the country, and we are so fortunate to have him. I am proud to call him a friend. And really Look forward to an increased strong partnership between the County, and Hudson Valley Community College. So, Doctor Ramsammy, Thank you. Thank you for your vision, your leadership, your dedication, and your unending drive to make this college, the best place that can be. Thank you God bless. (Applause) Thank you Mr. McLaughlin.
Now to the podium Greetings on behalf of the Rensselaer County Legislature, it’s chair. Michael E. Stammell (Applause) President Ramsey. Ramsammy, distinguished members of the board of Trustees honored guest and fellow local officials good morning. As a longtime member of the Legislature in the present chairman. I’ve been witness to a tremendous growth here at Hudson Valley Community College. As a Legislator, We have partnered with the County Executive, The Board of trustees, to support much of the university’s growth over the years. Its breathtaking to see how far it once, How this once little college was, and what it’s become today. Every time I drive by it looks bigger, brighter, and that, and that’s a good thing. For many, many reasons. News this week that the University of Albany will now guarantee admission to graduates of Hudson Valley Community College, was an important step forward I never thought it could be done, in years prior. Its partnership will greatly increase the chances of our students obtaining a 4 year degree without leaving the area. This is great news for the students, to families, who came and remain here Today This area as they continue their education. It is important, it’s an important collaboration, like this, that reinforces the belief between President Roger Ramsammy will be a great leader here at Hudson Valley Community College. On On behalf of my fellow County legislators here today, and others that may not. Many who are here today, I would, I want to congratulate you on your inauguration, and look forward to many exciting announcements during the next 10 year. Thank you to the Doctor Ramsey (Ramsammy), as well as, the student body, as well as, all the professors and here at Hudson Valley. And jump on for the ride. ’cause I know it’s going to be a great experience in the near future, for us all to be part of. Thank you again have a great day. (Applause) I thank you so much. It is now my pleasure to welcome to the podium, President of the Hudson Valley Community College Student Senate. Zion Sherin, who bring greetings on behalf of the Hudson Valley Community College students. (Applause) Good morning, everyone. As already stated student body president. Also I’m proud to be a Community College representative on the Faculty Council of community colleges, and the SUNY Student Assembly. These leadership positions, I’ve been able to see the true importance of community colleges. They can, and they often do, launch students towards a brighter future, while remaining inexpensive and accessible to all. Community colleges like Hudson Valley serve an incredibly important role in the SUNY system. This morning I would like to personally thank President Ramsammy for making students feel welcomed here on campus, and for making their concerns heard. His dedication to increasing or colleges diversity by traveling abroad to recruit new students and making all students feel welcomed regardless of what life of walk they may come from, is truly uplifting. It is so important students feel welcomed at school so they can take full advantage of their experience. This is something I am passionate about and has affected me more than might meet the eye. It was a home educated student before coming to Hudson Valley. And honestly, he prospect of coming to school at the age of 17 was a little bit more than intimidating. Luckily for me, I had an amazing economics professor Professor Joseph Sinnard, who encouraged me to get involved on campus. Started with the club and from there, I moved to the student Senate. Throughout the process of joining these organizations, making friends meeting my fellow students, I felt, that I was accepted, but yeah, I got to learn about a lot of different other cultures and see other people’s viewpoints, all the while feeling accepted and knowing that my interests…Feeling that my interests were. (Sorry) Feeling that my interests were accepted as well. Or explore my interests, sorry about that. Hudson Valley Community College of students is an incredibly diverse experience of cultures and I’ve discovered it’s one of its great strengths. As the college opens its doors, even wider. We need to continue to consider the variety of perspectives and experiences that make each student unique. If we can do that, we can continue to be the amazingly accepting place that I found it to be. During the rest of my term here, I look forward to working with the great faculty and administration, especially Doctor Ramsammy. And…congratulations Doctor Ramsammy on the on the behalf of the over 10,000 students of Hudson Valley, we stand behind. Thank you all for your time. (Applause) Thank you. Today I serve not only as your mistress of ceremonies, I have the distinct honor of also offering greetings on behalf of the faculty, and staff of both the college and the educational opportunity center. Well, I’m not the longest tenured employee. I have the good fortune of being the longest tenured member of the colleges senior administrative staff. Having joined the campus in 1983, I have had the pleasure of working directly with five of the seven presidents who have served this college. From this distinct vantage point, I have noticed that each president brings to the table a unique set of skills that serve to advance the college and each respective point in time. The seventh president of HVCC, Roger Ramsammy, brings to the table a vision of the future of this college, that will catapult it into the decades that lie ahead. BEhind this vision is an abundance of energy that drives those working with him. to achieve great heights. Doctor Ramsammy is a man who sees the future and all that it can hold for this college, for its students, for the community, they both serve. So on behalf of the faculty and staff of Hudson Valley Community College in the Capital District educational opportunity center. I welcome him to our community and I look forward to working. and seeing all that will be achieved under his leadership. (applause) It is now my pleasure to introduce to you Doctor Leonard A. Slade Jr., who will provide a reading from his personal works written by him in honor of Doctor Ramsammy. (applause) Thank you. Reading of an original poem by Leonard Slade Jr. President Roger Ramsammy. New chief at Hudson Valley Community College Troy. New York. New York State. Will never Be the same. Brilliant scientist. Now leads with fire and fervor. He strategically plans for student growth. Ours. Still, a faculty and superb administrators. This man. The plan. To build Hudson Valley Community College until it reaches the heavens. He works in his office Monday through Sunday. Rusing proposals for quality expansion. Determined. Stretch intellectual minds. Committed. Touch human hearts. His Modis Operandi to get the job done. Made possible for his. personal God. Adding him from sunrise to. Sunset. Serenade of hours near his Home Office. Firebirds caroling early in the morning. Sausage and eggs and biscuits and gravy served with percolated coffee prepare him. For the demands of the day. He works and meets and decides on what will improve the college. His wife. And daughter. And God. Report him with friends watching his back. Beggars and betrayals. We celebrate his achievements. Share his dreams of the pursuit of academic excellence. The triumph. The human spirit. The survival of civilization. New York State will never be the same. Said Alfred Tennyson Come my friends. It’s not too late. Seek a new world. Thank you. (applause) Thank you. Now performing a medley. Our talented high school ensemble group with Jake Goodman, Bridgid Mack, Shayda Ramsammy, and Toussaint Santicola-Jones (Music from Les Misérables) One day more Another day, another destiny. This never ending road to Calvary. These men who seem to know my crime will surely come a second time one day more. I dreamed a dream in time gone by When hope was high and life worth living One day more Tomorrow you’ll be worlds away and yet with you my world has started One more day all on my own Will we ever meet again One more day with him not caring. I was born to be with you. What a life I might have known. And I swear that I’ll be true. But he never saw me there…. One more before the storm Do I follow where she goes? At the barricades of freedom Shall I join my brothers there? When the rains begin to fall. Do I stay or do I dare? Will you take your place with me? The time is now, the day is here. One day more One more day to revolution we will nip it in the bud. We’ll be ready for these School boys, they will wet themselves catch them as they fall never know your luck when there’s a free for all Hear a little dip, every little touch, most of them are gone so they won’t be smudged. One day to our new beginning Raise the flag of freedom high Every man will be a king. Every man will be a king. There’s a new world for the winning A new world to be won. Do you hear the people singing? My place is hear I fight with you! One day more (multiple rounds of singing) Tomorrow we’ll discover what our god in heaven has in store! One more dawn, one more day, one day more. (applause) I think I speak on behalf of all of us when I say that was amazing. Bravo. Thank you to our talented group of performers. And a special thank you to Shay Ramsammy for making her father’s special day even more memorable. To add to the array of other memorable contributions to today’s ceremony are two individuals who each have a special relationship with Doctor Ramsammy. 1st to the podium is doctor Havidan Rodriguez, president of the University at Albany and a good friend and colleague of Doctor Ramsammy. Thank you so very much good morning. everyone Muy Buenos Dias and it is a great day to be here. It is truly a great honor to be able to participate in this very significant ceremony and to celebrate the investiture of my dear friend and colleague Doctor Roger Ramsammy. On behalf of the University at Albany, on behalf of Rosie. my spouse and myself. Congratulations to Hudson Valley Community College on this important day. Moreover, congratulations to President Ramsammy. And his entire family. I am honored. (applause) I am honored to be on this stage today, not only because president Ramsammy is an extraordinary colleague. Not only because, he is a visionary leader in higher education. Not only because of the partnerships we are building and strengthening between Hudson Valley Community College and the University at Albany for the betterment of our students our communities, the state and beyond, Not only because of the great friendship forged between Annette and Rosie. And not only because he has become a true friend. But because Roger Attiene and Shay have become truly become part of our family. It has been a wonderful experience for Rosie and me to get to know Roger Annette and Shay. Whenever we were together there is tremendous joy. Lots of Laughters and a possibility that is both exciting and inspiring. However, in the middle of all this friendship. We are also very mindful about taking care of business, And as you already know just this week. Rosie and I were delighted to welcome Roger and Annette to the University at Albany for a major celebration. Of a new transform pathway initiatives between Hudson Valley Community College and the University at Albany to ensure the success of our students together, we announced this exciting… Yes, please. (applause) Together, we announced this exciting new partnership that are going to be transformative for both institutions. Students will be able to enter Hudson Valley Community College with the knowledge that upon meeting certain requirements they can transfer and graduate with a Baccalaureate degree from the University at Albany, and we will work together to ensure a smooth transfer experience between our institutions. This was possible because of our longstanding partnership with HVCC And a mutual desire of Roger and I to share that we share to deepen the engagement between our schools. Roger and I have also shared some adventures both locally and globally. You also heard that last spring. We visited Costa Rica, where we explored some very high potential opportunities to create academic pathways for both HVCC and Ualbany. We work closely on the creation of the New York Capital Region. Higher Education Council, which is the consortium of presidents of 24 colleges and universities across the region. Also in a few weeks UAlbany will have a major conference rise 2019 where close to 90 universities and institutions of higher education in close to 400. Individuals from across the country will descend on Ualbany to focus on the growing threats posed by extreme weather. I’m also happy to announce that Hudson Valley Community College is a strong partner and sponsor of this event. I know that there are many more to come. Many more adventures to come. Both personal and professional. I am looking forward to working closely with Roger and Hudson Valley Community College in the weeks, the months, and the years ahead to make a transformational difference for the Capital Region and beyond. Meanwhile. Roger. for the great friendship between our families, for all that you have done for Hudson Valley Community College and this community, for the great partnerships between our institutions, and for all that you will continue to do in the future. More importantly for our friendship from the bottom of my heart. The Nomos Profondo me, Corazon Muchisimas Gracias. Thank you very much. Once again congratulations. (applause) Thank you Doctor Rodriguez. It is now, my great pleasure to welcome to the podium a gentleman who is served as a friend and a mentor to Roger Ramsammy beginning the time they spend together at Palm Beach State College in Florida. I introduce you to Doctor Patrick Haney Dean Emeritus, Palm Beach State College. (applause)) Thank you doctor Marion. Members of the Ramsammy family’s esteemed members of the board of trustees. HVCC administrators faculty and staff. Good Morning. What and honor and privilege It is to be here today and please know that I’m truly humbled to have been invited to take part in this inauguration of your 7th president. What a tremendously impressive college. Community this HVCC. This was brought to light during a visit of your beautiful campus and meeting several members of your college family. Namley Karen and Tammy in the Dental programs. Jonathan, Steve and in particular, Navy captain Patricia Klimkiewicz. My apologies to those others, whom we met but whose names escape me. A symptom of having been around the block too many times. And, of course, the special thanks to Regina Legata for her warm and generous hospitality. Which made Kathy and me feel so welcome? Doctor ramsammy mentioned last night, the quality of any institution is due in large part to its people. It’s obvious that a wonderful marriage exists between your new president and the people who make up this college. And beholden to Roger for all the recognition, he has given me as his first boss. During his climb up the ladder of success. I would certainly like to think I made some contribution to this success. Believe me when I tell you the credit is all his. Now, after witnessing doctor Ramsammy at last night’s festivities it has become apparent, If we could just get him to come out of his shell. The sky would certainly be the limit. Now a little bit about those secrets he was thankful no one was willing to reveal. I’ve had the delight in knowing doctor Ramsammy for close to 25 years. I must tell you what a pleasure those years have been. This this is certainly the crowning achievement to all those years I’m grateful to be here with you today. Before, you knew Doctor Ramsammy is President Ramsammy I knew him as Roger Ramsammy. From Georgetown University and newly arrived faculty member in the Science Department. Palm Beach Community College in Lake Worth FL. My story today is not about his many significant scholastic and academic accomplishments. All of which are well known either through his resume online. Right in your HVCC catalog. Rather, I want to talk briefly about Roger Ramsammy, The Man. My job at the time of our meeting was that of a mid level administrator overseeing all of the health care programs at the college. It was a given the Doctor Ramsammy, as a biological science educator. And I, would be working closely together for the foreseeable future. After all, many of the programs I oversaw were limited access programs. I had some daunting prerequisites that included Micro Biology and anatomy and Physiology. Which of course were among Doctor Ramsammy’s many fields of expertise. Prior to his arrival at PVCC Doctor Ramsammy had been offered a momentous opportunity to become the first minority to teach at Mayo Clinic. Which he rather astonishingly turned down to come to PVCC? And I asked him why he declined this significant honor and instead came to our college, His answer, was simple. He felt it underserved students of which there were many at PVCC, who came from Haiti, Cuba. Elsewhere, in the Caribbean as well as South Florida. In which for many meant that English was a second language. Benefit more from his efforts than the high achievers that Mayo Clinic. Then in 1995 Florida Atlantic University just down the road from our Community College, tried desperately to poach doctor Ramsammy services. For the same reasons that brought him to PVCC initially, Declined their offer, and chose to stay where he felt he could do the most good teaching at a Community College. What did he do to accomplish this vision and justify his decision? He said about creating a learning environment that would be it would be as conducive as possible. Grasping difficult subject matter such as amp and Microbiology. Success in these difficult subjects was important in identifying those students who would be selected for a place in one of the health care programs of their choosing. It was Doctor Ramsammy, who was instrumental in offering them an exceptional opportunity to achieve that goal. While not entirely, abandoning the usual tried and true teaching methods. Began to think outside the box. Developing his own innovative and forward thinking approaches. Which is presenting subject matter in animated formats. that were easier for these students to understand and relate to. His value to these students and to the college didn’t really end there. As already mentioned many if not most of the health care programs. Inspired to by students were so called a limited access programs, which by definition, and competitive access. Doctor Ramsammys Innovations, not only meant his students learn more easily. By extension became competitive for acceptance to a health care program. This man of course, that his classes were highly sought after and filled quickly. All of the classes such as Micro and Amp, eventually filled of course. At that point those students who could no longer enroll in these necessary classes came to me. Imploring me to find them a now nonexistent spot in a class, which they needed to proceed with their career aspirations. Who came to the rescue. Who else, but my friend Doctor Roger Ramsammy. He would invariably agree to take students in excess of the class size limit, completely without need for coercion, bribery or even begging. Exceeded expectations for services to the student. Not to pease me. Not to please the college. Simply because it’s already indicated he was a man for the student and the student’s needs came 1st. Dr. Ramsammy is one of those rare individuals who you meet perhaps only once or twice in a lifetime. Man of quiet confidence and determination is not afraid to challenge himself with a problem and seems to succeed at everything he attempts. For example, he became involved in sports at an early age. Became a world class field hockey player that toured internationally with the Caribbean team. In addition, he engaged in the sport of cricket and soccer. At a world class level, even though it did not extend to international competition. I did notice some golf clubs in the car when he picked us up at the airport. Having played golf with Doctor Ramsammy. I suspect that golf is one sport that he has not quite reached world class level. At least he’s not alone in that regard. Doctor Ramsammy also had another major goal and education in the United States. As visas from Trinidad were apparently extremely difficult to to obtain. he utilized the soon to expire United States visa that he carried as a field hockey team member regained admission to the United States. Then managed to work, his way through the educational process in Washington, DC. Obtained a student visa in spite of severely lacking the economic and logistical advantages offered to most of his fellow students. His labours under extremely adverse conditions are well documented. So I won’t dwell on that part of the story. Clearly exemplify his determination and resolve to achieving his goals. When times became tough financially early in his tenure at PVCC Dr Ramsammy worked as many as 3 jobs and taught up to 16 classes per week in order to make ends meet. Again determination and dedication to his family and to his goals. But you may not have known was that there was a time in his evolution. tpwards personal and academic success that he might have been distracted from his educational pursuits. Had it not been for one of our senior administrators at PVCC, They may never have had the benefit of doctor Ramsammy’s participation today, it’s true. At the tender age of 14. President started singing and a Calypso Band in Trinidad. An continued while still a faculty member at PVCC. One day John Schmidt, one of our vice presidents learned of Rogers activities in gently suggested that his appeal to impressionable young students of so handsome a band member. Especially to those of the female persuasion. Might be incompatible with the appeal faculty member. I put that as diplomatically as I could by the way. The singing stopped and had it not been for the sage advice offered by Vice President Schrader. You are newly inaugurated president instead. could very well have been the next Bob Marley. (laughter) So it appears HVCC’s gain was Calypso music’s loss. Now that this fact has become public knowledge. Doctor Ramsammy responds in a few minutes, he might even be encouraged to sing us a few lines. (laughter) Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t extol upon the outstanding leadership qualities of Roger Ramsammy. Which stand is another example of a challenge recognized and a challenge met. I once asked him what he remembered most about our relationship at PVCC. He stated that among my many shortcomings. One attribute he did manage to observe and the one he felt he would strive for was to be a good listener. This ability is only one of the many leadership qualities that this man, now possesses. You already know about his intelligence from his many academic accomplishments. I have already given you examples of his compassion creativity and determination. These all contribute to the elements necessary for an outstanding leader, and this man Roger Ramsammy this man of many talents is one of those leaders. I must say raised a good boy. (applause) With that I submit to you doctor Roger Ramsammy. President of Hudson Valley Community College. No longer the diamond in the rough that came to PVCC 25 years ago. But rather a brilliant polished gem that this college will have the good fortune to have as its standard bearer for many years to come. Graduations Roger Ramsammy for becoming the future of this fine institution. Likewise, congratulations to Hudson Valley Community College. for its wisdom in acquiring this fine gentleman’s it’s next president. Thank you. (applause) Thank you doctor. We know how much your presence means to our president. Thank you for joining us. Now we’ve arrived at the focal point of today’s ceremony Dr Roger Ramsammy as the 7th president of Hudson Valley Community College. This part of the program would like to introduce Johanna Duncan Poitier. Senior Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges and the Education Pipline (applause) Morning everyone. Bob Marley? I am so, so thrilled to be here with all of you this morning. To celebrate the inauguration of your new wonderful President, Doctor Roger Ramsammy. I’m proud to be here representing our chairman of our board doctor. Meryl Tisch and of course, our chancellor. Christina Johnson? What what a wonderful day this is. So happy to be here. Some other members of the SUNY family are also happy to be here today, an in line with what was said before we do have your back if the SUNY family that is here to support Roger every step of the way would you please stand? (applause) Folks have traveled here from the tip of Long Island to the Canadian border to be here with you, but to be with you, every step of the way. We also have a special thanks to Rogers family. In the beginning I was going to acknowledge you by name, But then there were too many so I would just like to ask if Rogers Mom and his beautiful wife and his family would please stand so we can all say a special thank you to you. (applause) Some folks were shot in training from Roger they didn’t stand. I know most of you know how much I love Community College is clearly that something that Roger and I have in common. I love community colleges because they change lives in so many of you are a part of that change. And in fact, no one has to tell you how special Hudson Valley Community College is. Hudson Valley Community college is nationally recognized as a leader in student success. In addition to the academic and workforce achievements. that are recognized around the globe. The richness and the experience at HVCC is really important. I was fascinated to learn that about 80% of the students are from the Capital Region, but the remainder are from other states as well as some 30 countries around the globe, Making it possible for students to have a rich global experience right here on this campus. Finding the right leader for the next chapter of Hudson Valley Community College’s future is absolutely critical. Very fortunate that in my role as Senior Vice Chancellor. I have the opportunity to take an active role in the presidential search process. I would like to commend Hudson Valley Community College’s board chair Neil Kelleher for his leading of the 24, imagine that, 24 member presidential search committee, which included dedicated faculty, staff, students, Alumni, Trustees, Foundation Board members and community leaders. Everyone was taking a very careful look at what was important in the next president for Hudson Valley Community College. They took their responsibility very seriously. They worked very hard, with the process and found their best candidate which was doctor Roger Ramsammy. You are a member of the search committee that worked many, many hours. I would ask including our trustees. If you would stand and be recognized. (applause) Thank you for that and thank you for the hard work. When you’re the last speaker, sometimes people will say things that you plan to say so you cut them out. In this case. what I found was reinforcement for the many things that I’ve learned about Roger and one is clearly persistence. We all knew that Roger believed that he was the best person to be the next president for Hudson Valley Community College. We saw his excitement, which everyone knows is palatable you get around Roger and he’s excited and he’s got an idea you know it. I also know that many of you are familiar with the fact that he came to us from Florida that was his last stop is his colleague mentioned. You might not know is that during the interview process.
There was a hurricane In Florida. He came to us, the night before, eye of the storm was heading towards his hometown. Roger….there’s a hurricane in Florida and we’re all looking at the teleprompters and the TV screens, saying I wonder how bad. The storms are going to be here in Albany. Roger was…no no, this is fine, I am ready. I am ready for this interview. Well, I have to tell you, he was the epitome of grace under pressure. He aced the interview some of us said, You know what, if he can do an interview through a hurricane…He’s ready for SUNY. One of Rogers best qualities is his commitment and his passion for access to higher education rooted in the profound impact of his own upbringing and a desire to pay it forward as was said so many ways. While working in a prestigious postdoc at Georgetown University, Roger realized his calling was really teaching more than research and he started to pay it all forward as soon as he had the opportunity to do so and inspiring professor with a passion and a knack for reaching underserved students with with innovative teaching methods. He was awarded a half dozen professor of the Year Awards. Roger understands the power of educational opportunity. HIs gift to us is that he wants every student ot have that opportunity. He’s a man and this is my personal perspective on him. Roger is a man with a strong moral conviction. Smart. Is focused it’s warm and he’s really a great guy that I am proud to call a colleague and a friend. He’s a creative thinker is a visionary leader. In fact, I asked a few folks on campus what would you say is the most profound thing about Roger and I heard again and again in the last comment was his vision is vision is vision. He can see what Hudson Valley Community College shouold be and can be. Passionate about student success and he’s working very hard as was mentioned with his colleagues, around the state. This is not the first milestone I have celebrated with Roger here at Hudson Valley. I was fortunate as many of you here to participate in the grand opening of the new HASS Center for advanced manufacturing skills. Many of you may remember as there were officials elected officials donors manufacturing and economic development. Leaders is a wonderful ceremony, to elevate what’s happening here to share the relevance beyond traditional borders. I heard someone else make reference to it, so it’s clearly going to be a Roger thing. This…”Did you know?” So recently at this event. Roger mentioned a couple of things that he referred to as fun facts? How many of you saw my Big Fat Greek Wedding. There was this patriarch and he was fiercely proud of his heritage and he would say. Give me any word, and I will tell you, it’s Greek root any words it’s from Greek. Whenever whenever Roger gets a chance its the same way about Hudson Valley. He ties it back to a fun fact. about Hudson Valley Community College where he has placed his roots. Roger is going to be in the years to come everything you’ve already seen wonderful president, who is committed to his students committed to this college and committed to education for all. I’m very, very proud to go to the next step of the ceremony, which for me is the pièce de ré·sis·tance and I’m going to ask Chairman Kelleher Kelleher. And President Roger Ramsammy to join me at the podium. You ready. No hurricanes today. (laughter) No singing. Doctor Ramsammy. You have the most important privilege and responsibility of leading Hudson Valley Community College, established in 1953 to the fulfillment of its great promise as an institution of higher learning and an integral partner in the region. As chief executive officer, you are a sign all the powers duties and responsibilities appropriate to the post. We are confident that under your leadership this institution, pursuing the highest traditions of teaching, scholarship and public service will continue its dedication to this region, to the state, the nation, the world. By virtue of the authority vested in me by the board of Trustees of the State University of New York. I hereby present you, friends of the college the 7th president of Hudson Valley Community College Dr Ramsammy. (applause) Thank you. Thank you so very much. What an honor. Thank you so very much I appreciate it. Members of the platform party, partners in government, business and education leaders. Trustees alumni and friends. Hudson Valley faculty, staff. Students. Your presence here today is overwhelming. Thank you so very much again, please allow me to begin. This incredible event with a very special greetings the architect of my life. My mom. (applause) She has traveled all the way from Trinidad to be here. My mom is always said to us, it does not matter how long you live what matters most is how you live. I’m the best of what I’ve become is most clearly a reflection of you. And I know what you’re saying right now boy you better speed up because my bladder. (laughter) Mom this speech, I promise is not going to be more than 15 minutes or 16. To my team, first my wife who is my biggest champion and my MVP. (applause) I share this special moment as I do all things with you. My son Khaled is not able to be with us. He works for Amazon took him away and that’s fine. He’s my quarterback always taking the lead. He does that for the family. My daughter Josie. You I consider the team psychologists always listening and bringing us back to reality. Thank you. (applause) And my youngest ShayShay, who you saw perform the earlier yeah. (applause and cheers) Thank you to you and your team. You are my running back you always picking up the ball and going for the win, you keep running baby. And to my extended family and friends always Ricky, Nicky, Aunt Shills babies. And all my friends who are here today. Please know that it’s impossible for us to remember you all, but do know that I appreciate your presence here today. I also extend my sincere appreciation to the Hudson Valley, many devoted elected officials. I saw many elected officials come into their specifically. I I did not see Congressman Tonko. But if he’s here. I know he’s a very hard working guy. State Senator Daphne Jordan this here, Assemblywoman Carrie Warner, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy. Albany County Executive Phil Kalderon, Rensselaer County legislators were with us like Dan Cacell, Tom Grand Kelly Hoffman, Robert Leverage and Chuck Peter. The mayor of Saratoga Springs Kelly, mayor of Troy of Troy Patrick Madden. And the mayor of Schenectady I saw earlier on, Gary McCarthy. Thank you so much. And a special thanks to the Rensselaer County leaders. Steve and Mike thank you so very much for being for your support. SUNY Chancellor is not able to be with us tonight, but I do say to you. I am very, very thankful for her support always. But we do have with us, our Sony Senior Vice Chancellor Johanna Duncan Poitier. (applause) Thank you so very much for everything that you have done for me and for HVCC. We very much appreciate it your dynamic leader and truly a wonderful person your heart is good as gold. To chairman Neil Kelleher, who I have come to known as a very selfless leader so. You have my sincere thanks and appreciation for the support that you have given us. And to our board of trustees. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve. (applause) So. This is the moment where I take. an opportunity to say thank you to this guy who just told me a whole lot of things. President Havidan Rodriguez, who has incredibly he’s become one of my great friends for the capital regions. You know it’s 15 months ago that he’s been with us. I want to thank him for his friendship and for all that he’s done for us. Thank you so much. Doctor Patrick Haney. I truly believe in the term leader. The term leader was created because of you. So you have my deepest appreciation and council. Whenever. And to pastor Tryam and professional Slade. Thank you so much for being such a special part of today’s event and for your beautiful words. To the college and University delegates in attendance today, especially my dear friend, indeed doctor Jonathan Guevara, here somewhere here who came all the way from College of Florida Keys if you’re still here. Where are you Sir? Right here up front. I offer you my sincere heartfelt thanks. I do have doctor Michael Bastian and many others who are here with us. I thank you all for making this incredible journey. Thank you so very much now you know, I have to say those thank you’s and you will forgive me for that. But we do have the incredible Hudson Valley Community College deans, department chairs, faculty, staff, and leadership team and without doubt you are the center of what there is no way. (applause) There is no way to quantify what you have done for this college, the many lives that you have touched through the years. Your impact is evident everywhere you look, in the eyes of our students in the achievements of alumni, in the betterment of our communities in the growth of our partners, and in the advancement and progress we are creating together. Thank you. The effect you have on others Is the greatest gift you can give. Your accomplishments are nothing short of amazing and you have my greatest admiration and respect for all that you do. I want to also briefly recognize a few of my former colleagues. Special mentors who mean the world to me, I refer to them as my Angels. These are the folks who helped me to spread my wings and learn to fly. In my time growing up doctors Joan William Farmers, Winston Anderson, Dennis Gallon, Maria Viejo, and George Cable. These are the folks who took me and walked me through my timeline. You have my special thanks for this today, especially and last, but not least. I want to thank the many ambitious intelligent and diverse students of Hudson Valley Community College! (applause and cheering) From my team that’s wearing I do have on my athletic Jersey underneath here, so we are going out to play some soccer right after. Students like Senate president Zion, and our trustee. Saloma whose talents will one day transform this world like you would never know. Thank you both for being here. You may not know this, but its students who have my greatest motivation and inspiration. And actually the greatest source of pride, you see my work and my purpose at Hudson Valley, my commitment for students is profoundly…. My family is smiling, I have to pay attention to waht they are smiling at. It’s deeply deeply rooted in my personal experience. For me a poor boy from a small town in the mountain side of Trinidad with big dreams to go to college. It was indeed higher education that was my lifeline to opportunity. In fact, it was at college that I found my place here in America, here in the classroom and in a science lab in the library, in the liberal arts rooms, in my professors offices. I began to wonder where could I go. But it was the help of teachers like yourself. The kindness of college employees that I began to see where I belong. You see what incredible powers, we have. Do you see what we hold? Ourselves. So I stand here today humbled by the task before us and grateful for the trust that you have placed in me. To lead this magnificent institution into the future. I proudly follow in the footsteps of the Hudson Valley Presidents, who made great strides to push the boundaries to advance this College in their own respective eras, I salute their leadership recognizing that each of them were challenge by the tide of change that swept through the 20th century, And each met those challenges in remarkable and enduring ways. Take for example, in 1953, Otto Guenther help build this college from its roots. as the Veterans Vocational Institute in downtown Troy. Then it mostly served a student population that lived through World War 2. Know this, he must have had foresight to see changes on the horizon. the growing need not only for vocational training, but also business and liberal arts programs. As well as the need for larger, more sophisticated campus. Taking over in the 1960s, James Fitzgibbons, he faced a tidal wave of baby boomers. As he led the college growth and student services to meet the needs of our community. Then, came President Joseph Bulmer, he saw the rise of the technological changes in the 80s and 90s that invented whole new modalities of teaching and learning and he led Hudson Valley through a period of innovation, transformation of our campus and the expansion of academic programs. Then came President Curtis. Stephen Curtis. He came the time of the Internet age when it’s firmly took root, creating the new information age. When President John Buno was inaugurated. The web and email was emerging. And the new Millennium was here. And at the forefront of something called Distance Learning was a college in upstate New York. Yes, you know it. It’s Hudson Valley. Then came interim president, Marco Sylvestri he built important bridges to the college. Then came our president, the 6th one. Drew Matonak now you remember him don’t you? (applause) He guided us as the Internet became an essential part of our lives and communication began to explode. How do you educate? President Matonak might have thought at the time. When cell phones Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and text messaging was the information sources for our students. So now we have faced with that continuing technological and pedagogical challenge. You see the generation born today and the one we must prepare for to teach in the future, they will know virtual reality and robotics. They will be guided by artificial intelligence. In the same way, Their great grandparents knew television and their grandparents knew cell phones, and their parents would have known self driving cars and paper currency. The education issue we need to solve is one of communication. A future understanding how to focus for it staying relevant in a time when when we have to see advanced automation come to us and preparing for an even more rapid technological change that’s before us. And I’m going to wonder…if there will be an app for that? You see. We must think that we have to be future forward remember it we always have to be future forward. As the college’s 7th President my challenge is much like my predecessors that I spoke about. I have to anticipate the mindset of the Millennials, Gen Z, The emerging generation Alpha that some of you heard me talk about while setting the stage for the next president, who has to come. Who will face a whole new generation, one living in the age of robotics. We call it generation AR born 2025 through 2035. That’s why I ask all of you at our first all campus meeting to be All in. ALL IN on our plan to embrace what we need to succeed. That’s us remove the fear that prevents us from making these change and we must take risks to make our future better. According to Michaelangelo, the greater danger for most of us not like it doesn’t lies. It lies mostly in setting our aim, too high and falling short. But in setting our aim too low and achieving it. We always have to be big thinkers. To me an inauguration is an opportunity to present a vision that can decode the current challenges, anticipate future needs, and unite the campus with a strategic vision. That is what I hope to bring to my presidency as I arrived here. The college last year, I observed an unparalleled commitment to our students. An unwavering support for workforce and education partners contributions to the greater region. Each of these characteristics animates our campus and it creates a sense of enrichment and vitality within our community that no other institution could claim none. With the task of determining how Hudson Valley would succeed and where we could do better. Most of you know this. I met with over 300 members of the community. During my first six months and hundreds more later. Well, this is what I learned. I learned that we had an incredible team of talented and caring and dedicated individuals along with an extensive network of partners. Who really really support us and many of you saw that last night? But I also learned that we’re still faced with many challenges yes, we do. Demographic challenges, challenges in keeping pace with the demands of our workforce, and challenges that are reshaping the role of education in this 21st century. In the last year, we have begun to address those changes and we have opened up our doors wider than ever before. Began to ask bold questions, explore new ideas and adopt new philosophes. Our faculty and staff began the process by building a future focused strategic plan together. We have established core values for what we believe, and how we lead this institution. And we outlined these shared priorities and goals as critically important. Such as the renewal of our collective commitment to student success inclusion and equity. Enhancing academic programming, seeking new ways to optimize enrollments, encouraging continued excellence among all our faculty and staff, expanding our partnerships, and reinvigorating our campus culture and infrastructure. With history as our guide, excellence of a collective brainpower, and the road map of our future we can achieve anything. We will continue to provide unprecedented opportunities and access to higher the highest quality teaching, and workforce training. We will continue to work with our many public, private colleges, and University partners as well as our business non for profit, faith based an government leaders to expand our reach and amplify our impact. We will work hand in hand with our elementary, middle, and high school partners also ’cause their growth will feed our education pipeline prime the pump, and bolster our collective potential in infinite ways. By adding in chambers, IDA’s, CEG’s United Way. and the Regional Economic Development Council. We will build a regionwide coalition to catalyze growth like never before. My request is this it’s simple. Let us work together to reach our goals rather than limiting ourselves by selfish attempts to reach them alone. There is an African proverb that says if you want to go fast go alone? If you want to go far. Go together. I pledge to you. Here at Hudson Valley, we will go far together. Implementing strategies that ensure we’re making lasting impact on our campus and the many individuals and communities that we serve. And I promise that we also dedicated to remaining adaptable and responsive to what’s ahead in the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years and beyond by preparing our students to be responsible citizens within the global community. Am I am depending on you, I’m counting on you. Every one of you to help me make this plan happen. I’m all in. I hope that you are too because our mission is clear our focus is sharp. And make no mistakes there are challenges we must face. I can tell you that. We are ready, let us consider for a moment with the Hudson Valley student who may be born this year would look for when they come to us in 2037. That’s correct. Today’s toddlers will be college students in 2037. To remain relevant we must start planning now for those students who will arrive on our campus 18 years later. We must embrace the fact that technology will continue to impact our lives and the way that we deliver education. We must recognize that demographic shifts and economic changes will continue to define our landscape. And we must adapt to the changing generation of students who will reshape our workforce. I know it is difficult to comprehend what our college would look like in 20 years I know. But imagine this, president Guenter likely never envisioned the personal computer. But it came to be pervasive didn’t it. And perhaps president Bulmer did not foresee social media, but it is how we communicate today isn’t it. Change is indeed in inevitable. And while we cannot predict the future. We can plan for change. And anticipate best how to harness technology and the emerging ideas in education. What I will encourage during my presidency is a willingness to embrace what the future will bring for our college. For the future. students of Hudson Valley Community College, for the future prosperity of the region, that state, and beyond. I could ask for nothing less. My favorite quote some of you came to my door saw on my office door. It has been there for decades, it says. When patterns are broken knew worlds emerge. Let us embrace them together. Let’s provide higher education access to those who never thought it was within reach. And let’s find new audiences to educate a new ways to teach them. Right now those students are ready to start dreaming what their futures would look like and they probably are doing it. And they’re going to need our education to get there. Because it does not matter, where we are in space and time. If we are forward thinking there will always be people who need what we are doing here at Hudson Valley Community College. Like I did years ago and like every single one of you have done. Each of these students will face the most daunting, but essential question. Where do I belong? If anyone can guide them I know you can. If anyone could inspire them I know you can. If anyone can help them find their place in this world I know you can. This isn’t a dream. This is real power. Real work. Everyday people in this world are fighting to make change that means something that helps people that alters the course of their lives. There fighting to be true to themselves to their passion and their talent. You’re not doing this because you have to. You aren’t doing it because you’re supposed to. You’re doing, it because it chose you. And it is. (applause) It is my greatest honor and pillage to work alongside. you and bring this great institution to it’s great heights then ever before. One final thing. Denzel Washington said. He said before you go to bed at night. Take your slippers, put it far under the bed. So that the next morning, you have to get on your knees. Before, you reach. Thank the Lord for this day that you could make a difference because know this. Know this. It does not matter what you have, material things. They do not go with you. so reach behind pull someone forward because I know we can. Thank you. (Applause) Thank you President Ramsammy for your inspiring words. Most of all for the vision you have for Hudson Valley Community College. I know the future is in good hands with you. (applause) We welcome you as our president and we look forward to working with you as this vision becomes reality. Please stand for the benediction which will be offered by Michelle Sabarish Campus Chaplain? To conclude I’d like to say as many people have echoed it is an honor and a privilege President Ramsammy to be a part of your special day graduations to your family and to you. And so we pray. We praise you spirit who gives birth to all things new. New revelations. New opportunities’. New life and new leadership. Our hearts are filled with gratitude as we come together to take part in your continual creation. May the creative energy that comes from our connection with you end, and one another, inspire our work here at Hudson Valley Community College. Both now. And in the future. Wisdom. On this day in particular, we give thanks to doctor Roger Ramsammy, who you have brought here. To serve with energy. Intelligent. Imagination. Love. May we remember that each of us staff, students and faculty have been called and uniquely gifted to serve alongside Roger. Together may we support and strengthen Hudson Valley Community College. To quote the poem. What I learned so far by Mary Oliver Can one be passionate about the just? The ideal? Sublime and the holy. And yet commit to know labor in its cause. I don’t think so. All summations have a beginning. All affect has a story. All kindness begins with a sown seed. Thoughts buds. The Gospel of light is the crossroads of Indolence. Action. Be ignited. Or be gone. Mobilize spirit of wisdom and power to share our riches with the world. Cultivate our talents. And to find endless ways to use them in service to humanity. Continue to bless us College and Doctor Ramsammy. As we do this work. And so it is. Amen (applause) Once again thank you for being a part of this milestone occasion. Hudson Valley Community College and for helping us to celebrate the beginning of a new chapter in the history of this institution. Please remain seated for the recession. Both the platform party and the delegates as well as the Ramsammy family. After the recessional as finished all of our guests are invited to a luncheon reception in the Conway Ice Rink, which you can enter down the hallway to your right as you exit this area. Also, please be sure to pick up the inaugural momento, which will be handed out at the exit as you leave the ceremonial area. we ask our Grand Marshall and mace barer To step forward. Will all those in the academic party please rise. This convocation is now concluded. (music)