Were You Seen? 2017 Excelsior College Commencement

A record number of over 400 graduates crossed the stage at the 2017 Excelsior College Commencement Ceremony, on Friday, July 14.

Excelsior College also inaugurated Dr. James N. Baldwin as its third president during the Commencement Ceremony. The event took place at the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany, which drew dignitaries and graduates, their family members, and friends from around the globe.

Photo Credit: Mike Hemberger

As part of the ceremony, Betty A. Rosa, EdD, chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, was also awarded the President’s medal.

Honorary degrees were granted to Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, former president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, and Dr. Karen Cox, a health-care leader and distinguished alumna.

Dr. Cox also served as the Commencement speaker.

Dr. Karen Cox – Photo Credit: Mike Hemberger
Dr. Carlyn Woo – Photo Credit: Mike Hemberger

Excelsior College graduates are typically adult learners, average age of 37, who have pursued a higher education while balancing competing family and work demands. This year’s graduates come from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. More than 20 countries are also represented. Thirty three percent are members of the U.S. military and 31 percent self-identify as members of minority groups. Our melting pot of a student population inspires us every day.

Were you seen at the 2017 Commencement Ceremony? View the photo slideshow below.


This year, we’re shown that there is no age limit to learning. Our youngest graduate, Cameron Whitehead, is a 17-year-old who has been climbing the academic ladder after completing his associate and bachelor’s degrees at Excelsior within a year’s span. Cameron hasn’t stopped there. He is currently enrolled in our master’s in cybersecurity program. Our oldest graduate, Joseph Soares, is a 73-year old who jumpstarted his baccalaureate pursuit by completing his liberal arts degree. Joseph has also taken the leap to pursue his master’s degree in criminal justice. No matter what end of the age spectrum they may fall on, both Florida men are determined to keep learning.

In total, over the past year, 1,555 degrees were conferred at the associate level, 3,000 at the bachelor’s level and 566 at the master’s level. Sixty-eight students earned more than one degree during the past academic year. Ten individuals earned certificates.

Follow our #ExcelsiorProud hashtag on social media to check in to all of the happenings surrounding this year’s event.

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