Elmira College celebrated the graduation of 209 students during its 164th Commencement on Sunday, June 5 on Carnegie Lawn at the College. The exercises included 180 undergraduate and 29 graduate students.

During the Ceremony, Elmira College President Charles Lindsay conferred two honorary degrees.

As a symbolic gesture, Lindsay conferred Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, with an honorary Doctor of Letters in absentia. The symbolic award recognizes the heroic leadership Zelenskyy has shown so far during the war with Russia while also honoring the Ukrainian people and their struggle to maintain their independence as a sovereign nation.

Lindsay also conferred an honorary degree to Dr. Jocelyn A. Chadwick, author, life-long English teacher, and international scholar. Chadwick was a full-time professor at Harvard Graduate School of Education and is now lecturing occasionally and conducting seminars there.

Chadwick is a noted expert in literature, writing, and curriculum development, with a focus on late 19th-century literature, Mark Twain studies, women's studies, African-American studies, curriculum design and development, cross-curricular instructional design, and 21st-century writing strategies. Since 2019 Chadwick has been the lead facilitator and curriculum designer for the Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies Summer Teachers Institute.

She has worked, and continues to work with, PBS, WNET, WGBH, BBC Radio and was invited to the White House as a panel member for the series, Celebrating America's Authors for Ken Burns's Mark Twain. Chadwick also consults and works with teachers and students from around the country while serving as an expert consultant for NBC News Learn. Her new book in progress is Writing for Life: Using Literature to Teach Writing.

During the ceremony, Chadwick encouraged the graduating class to ask questions, imagine, and aspire. She told them to admit their errors and learn from others. She advised the graduates to acknowledge their fears without letting their fears paralyze them. And she told them to be agents of change while also remembering the importance of play.

Following the conferring of the honorary degrees, Dr. Patricia Ireland, Provost, introduced Salutatorian Carly Eldridge, '22, and Valedictorian, Jenna Cowder '22. Ireland then presented the 2022 undergraduate and graduate candidates to Lindsay for conferral.

"To all the graduates and prizewinners whom we have honored today, let me say that we are proud of you and look forward to great things as you move ahead in your careers," said Lindsay. "What you have built during your time here - both the foundation within you and the community around you - is now a part of you. A foundation to be used as you continue to grow and move forward in life."

During ceremonies prior to Commencement, members of the graduating class were recognized with multiple honors and prizes, including induction into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest national honors organization, and officer commissioning with the United States military. The Class of 2022 also included 80 honor graduates receiving summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude honors.

You can see a collection of images from the Commencement events, including the Nurse Pinning, Candlelight, and Commencement ceremonies on Flickr.

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