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Convocation Celebrates Success of ESF's Newest Graduates

President tells graduates, 'Tomorrow is a new day'

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry celebrated the accomplishments of its newest graduates Friday, Dec. 7, in a Convocation ceremony that included a traditional Irish blessing and bits of wisdom from Aristotle and Theodore Roosevelt.

"You've worked hard to get here today," College President Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., told the graduates. "You studied hard and spent countless hours in labs and studios. You worked your way through countless papers, exams and finals. And you worried your way through countless papers, exams and finals."

Murphy focused on Aristotle's observation that friendship, family life, political participation (which the president interpreted as civic engagement and work for the public good) and study are the keys to happiness. Study, Murphy said, means continued learning and contemplative thinking.

Murphy, urging the graduates not to dwell on anything negative, also quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

The president concluded his address with a tribute to Dr. Guy Baldassarre, a popular faculty member who died last summer. Murphy read a traditional Irish blessing that he said was a favorite of Baldassarre's: May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields and, until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Provost Bruce Bongarten told the graduates they share in the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, whose name graces the college's Roosevelt Wild Life Station. Bongarten told the students they should embrace Roosevelt's belief in self-confidence, hard work and the need to take action instead of procrastinating.

Three alumni were honored during convocation.

Douglas G. Dellmore '68 received the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the ESF Alumni Association. Robert W. Hargrove '78 received the Graduate of Distinction - Notable Achievement award. A Notable Achievement award was also bestowed upon Richard J. Ahearn '74, who was unable to attend the ceremony.