College Celebrates Class of 2022 Commencement
The Class of 2022 was celebrated during commencement ceremonies at Tompkins Cortland Community College Tuesday, May 24. The College held its 51st in-person commencement, recognizing the 459 members of the class in the College's gymnasium.
Board of Trustees Chairman Raymond Schlather opened the ceremony by welcoming the graduates and guests, and noting that this is a time of transition for the graduates. He reminded the graduates that even in times of transition, there are certain constants, including the importance of passion, hard work, and bit of luck. “And you will soon learn something your parents and supporters already know, that learning is a lifelong adventure. And it’s a lot of fun,” said Schlather. “We are so pleased you have made it here. You have persisted. You have been passionate. You have been articulate in thinking. And you have committed yourself to keeping America as strong and as open and as promising as it was intended to be.”
Student Trustee Paige Innis offered comments on behalf of the student body. She talked about how much things changed during her time at the College, especially considering her freshman year started during the height of the pandemic. “When I first arrived at TC3, I was bored. There was not much to do, not many people to hang out with, desks were all six-feet apart, and I thought ‘This is college?’,” said Innis, noting things changed as the year went on but that she wanted even more, for herself and her classmates. “Before I knew it, I was attending board meetings, doing more team building than imaginable, and helping TC3 find a new president. And it’s all because I took a risk and said yes.” Innis ended her remarks by telling the graduates to thank their supporters, but also to thank themselves. “You did it. You persevered through everything life could have thrown at you. You have overcome so many battles to get here. You took risks; you made friends; you made memories. You will continue to grow and change and make everyone around you proud,” she said. “Take it all in, enjoy this day, remember this time and never forget: you matter.”
Provost and Administrator in Charge Paul Reifenheiser closed the proceedings with a charge to the graduates. After noting the challenges faced by this class due to the pandemic, societal injustices, and political turmoil of the past two years, Reifenheiser pleaded with the graduating class. “As you go forth into the next chapter of your life, seek out the good in people, seek out understanding, and meet people where they are rather than expect them to know what you know or believe what you believe,” said Reifenheiser. “You can live out the lessons of your time at TC3 by searching for commonalities in everyone rather than assuming that our differences and diversity of thought must separate us. For if you seek out the good in others, I believe you will find it within yourself.”