SUNY schools in Oneonta and Delhi will bestow honorary doctoral degrees Saturday on two alumnae of professional distinction who have been advocates for their colleges. Janet Perna is a 1970 graduate of the State University College at Oneonta, and Theresa Molloy graduated from SUNY Delhi in 1980.
More than 1,000 students at SUNY Oneonta will participate in graduation ceremonies Saturday, while more than 650 students will receive degrees at SUNY Delhi.
At SUNY Oneonta, students will attend a 10 a.m. or noon ceremony depending on their major, then go with their guests to divisional ceremonies, where individual diplomas and awards will be presented. The college will award bachelor's and master's degrees and certificates of advanced study to about 1,500 students, a media release said.
SUNY Oneonta College Council Chairman Patrick Brown will join college President Nancy Kleniewski in presenting an honorary SUNY doctorate to Perna, who will address the graduates.
Perna, who majored in math at SUNY Oneonta, was the highest-ranking female executive at IBM Software Group at the time of her retirement in 2006. She has promoted math, science and technology programs professionally and at SUNY Oneonta.
In 2009, Perna became a member of the College at Oneonta Foundation Board of Directors, where as co-chairwoman of the Fund for Science and Technology campaign, she was instrumental in raising more than $5.2 million to support science and technology education at the campus, a biography from the college said. At SUNY Oneonta, she established a scholarship for women pursuing degrees in math and science.
On Saturday at the Oneonta college, four faculty and staff members will be presented awards for excellence. Daniel Payne, associate professor of English, will receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching; Joseph Pignato, assistant professor of music, will receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities; Jerome Blechman, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, will receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Faculty Service; and University Police Chief Barton Ingersoll will receive the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service.
SUNY Oneonta Distinguished Teaching Professor Lawrence Guzy of the Department of Psychology will serve as the mace bearer. The Mohawk Valley Frasers will provide bagpipe music for the processional. Alexandra Schleuderer of the Class of 2012 will lead the audience in singing the national anthem and the alma mater.
The State University College of Technology at Delhi will bestow 453 associate's degrees, 155 bachelor's degrees and 77 certificates, officials said.
H. Carl McCall, chairman of the State University Board of Trustees, will be the keynote at the college's 95th annual commencement exercises in Clark Field House at 1 p.m. Saturday. He will participate in presenting an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree to Molloy.
SUNY Delhi President Candace Vancko said Molloy "is a role model for success in the business world and is a tremendous supporter of SUNY Delhi."
Molloy is vice president of communications at the National Investors Relations Institute-New York board as vice president of communications, and she recently was vice president, global issuer services for the New York Stock Exchange Euronext.
Molloy, an honorary chairwoman of Delhi's 100th anniversary celebration, holds an associate's degree in business from SUNY Delhi and a bachelor's degree in political science from the State University at Stony Brook.
Also during the ceremonies, Vancko will present the Chancellor's Award for Excellence. Recipients will be students Teresa Bryant and George Nassar; Jack Tessier, associate professor of liberal arts and sciences; Amber Tatnall, assistant professor of liberal arts and sciences; Joseph Batchelder, director of capital construction; and Judy Lindsay, a secretary. Ian Kowalchuk of Deer Park will be recognized with SUNY's Scholar Athlete Award.
Students at Hartwick College in Oneonta will graduate May 26.