July 24, 2024
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Thousands cross the stage as Binghamton University’s Class of 2024

More than 5,900 degrees conferred over nine ceremonies

Binghamton University conferred more than 5,900 degrees over nine ceremonies for the Class of 2024. Binghamton University conferred more than 5,900 degrees over nine ceremonies for the Class of 2024.
Binghamton University conferred more than 5,900 degrees over nine ceremonies for the Class of 2024. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.

Binghamton University hosted nine separate ceremonies recognizing more than 5,900 graduates this year. Ceremonies were held Thursday, May 9, through Saturday, May 11, on Binghamton’s campus.

Each school held its own ceremony during which it conferred baccalaureate and master’s degrees on its students. In addition, all doctoral candidates throughout the University were recognized during the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on Thursday, May 9, in the Anderson Center’s Osterhout Concert Theater. The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences conferred PharmD degrees during its ceremony.

More from the ceremonies

You can also stream all the ceremonies online.

Doctoral hooding ceremony

Nearly 200 doctoral students crossed the stage to have their advisors hood them with a colored hood representing their discipline.

President Harvey Stenger recalled getting his own PhD as “one of the proudest days of my life” and was sure that the graduates felt similarly. He added that the honor goes beyond simply wearing a doctoral cap and gown.

“You get to wear this attire because you have demonstrated the ability to conduct original work that expands the boundaries of knowledge within your discipline,” he said. “You have learned to uncover secrets and discover hidden truths about the world and the people around us. With this knowledge, you will make the world a better place.”

He also noted that two students received the first-ever Doctor of Occupational Therapy degrees awarded by the State University of New York: “They are pioneers not just for Binghamton, but for the entire SUNY system.”

Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Donald Hall praised graduates as “truly remarkable students who have brought your intellectual curiosity, work ethic and sense of humor to bear throughout your time here.

“As you graduate from Binghamton, you will take with you what you have learned in your classes, laboratories, participation in organizations and through the thousands of personal interactions you have had with those around you. You will take all that you have experienced here and become change-makers.”

Gretchen Mahler, interim dean of the Graduate School, talked about the skills that doctorates have learned — innovation, research and learning from failure to build success.

“I hope that as you go out into the world and become recognized leaders, role models and mentors that you continue to shape the future,” she said. “Know that earning a doctorate is just the beginning of a lifelong journey of learning, personal development and making impactful contributions throughout your career.”

Distinguished Professor Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari, dean of the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science, served as keynote speaker.

Srihari, who joined the Binghamton faculty in 1988, has directed and mentored more than 170 master’s graduates and 40 more at the PhD level. In 2009, he was named Watson College dean, and he has led a period of remarkable growth. In the past 15 years, graduate enrollment has increased by 103%, total enrollment is up 49%, and the total faculty count has grown by 41%.

“When I came to the United States in 1983 to begin my graduate work, I never imagined that someday I would have the opportunity to serve as the dean of a top-ranked college and work with wonderful colleagues and amazing students like you,” he said. “I am truly lucky.”

Srihari reflected on how he arrived as a master’s student from India and had to find his way from the bus station to the Virginia Tech campus with two large suitcases without knowing anyone.

“Each obstacle we encounter presents an opportunity for self-discovery and personal development,” he said. “And after each obstacle, you must never give up. Dust yourself off and move forward. It is in the face of adversity that our true strength and character are revealed.”

Srihari, who will step down as dean at the end of May, will return to the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering faculty in fall 2025.

Alumni engagement message

During Commencement ceremonies, Alumni Association President Cara Treidel ’16 recalled how she felt when she graduated eight years ago and encouraged Binghamton’s newest graduates to remain connected to the campus.

“Our alumni community has been a tremendous source of support for me,” she said. “It’s why I’ve continued to be engaged with the University, and it’s why I encourage everyone else to be involved.”