SUNY Old Westbury Celebrates the Class of 2022

View from the audience of the overlooking approximately 50 graduates with decorated mortarboards

During the first in-person SUNY Old Westbury Commencement ceremony since 2019, 1,077 undergraduate and 166 graduate students turned their tassels and officially marked their place as members of the College’s alumni family. 

Graduates from each of the college’s four academic schools walked across the stage at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to the applause and cheers of the more than 6,000 in attendance. 

Providing the Commencement Address was The Honorable Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives for the New York State Unified Court System, who encouraged the graduates to engage in find a path and work they are passionate about, no matter how long or hard it may be.

“There is little in life worth obtaining that is obtained with ease,” she said.  “Your hard work makes this day one so very well-earned. Bask in it today, embrace your sense of accomplishment---and when the work that you engage in in the future becomes ridiculously difficult -- oh and I promise you it will -- remember how you are feeling in this moment, allow it to serve as a key example of the value and ‘worth-it-ness’ of hard work.”

The graduates also heard greetings from Student Government President Oluwidemilade Ogunlade, who herself graduated with a degree in Politics, Economics and Law, and Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Jennie D’Ambroise.

“I ask you all to dare to be courageous,” Ogunlade said to her classmates. “The worst thing you can do is not approach a challenge. The best thing you can do is to try and, if you fall, get up and try again.  Keep trying!” 

The ceremony also marked the first to be presided over in person by SUNY Old Westbury President Timothy E. Sams, who began his tenure in January 2021. 

“As you graduates re-merge and reintegrate into an unimaginably complex, and in many ways, troubling world, please know that you are OW-made,” Sams said to the graduates.  “As a graduate you embody and represent our unique mission calling for close liberal arts excellence, punctuated by values of integrity, engagement, and cosmopolitanism, and emboldened by our commitment to social and environmental justice.”

Video recordings of the commencement ceremonies are available on the College's YouTube site.  Visit the College's Flickr site to view the Commencement 2022 photo album.

Student Achievement