e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Mortarboards Fly and Students Become Alumni

Class of 2018 celebrates achievements

Graduates holding ESF flags at the SRC Arena

With a turn of the tassels, a toss of caps and four days of ceremonies, more than 450 ESF students became ESF alumni this weekend.

Commencement weekend festivities included the Inclusive Excellence Graduation Reception May 10, the Higher Degree Ceremony and Reception May 11, ESF Commencement May 12 and Joint Commencement exercises with Syracuse University May 13.

During the Commencement ceremony at SRC Arena, President Quentin Wheeler gave the students three pieces of advice: always aim for excellence, find and follow your passion, and be courageous.

Student speaker Benjamin Taylor told his classmates that ESF students are "a unique breed" and pointed to all the graduates had in common, including a charge to "Lug-a-mug" rather than use disposables. He urged the Class of 2018 to remember that no one can be successful alone and advised the graduates to be supporters and friends. "Be that person who will grab onto someone else's burden and help lift it," he said. "Thank you for how you will improve our world."

During the ceremony, Dr. Eleanor J. Sterling, chief conservation scientist at the American Museum of Natural History's (AMNH) Center for Biodiversity and Conservation and an affiliated professor at the Museum's Richard Gilder Graduate School, was presented with an Honorary Degree. She advised the graduates to make connections with people they work with, acknowledge those who have helped them, give back to those helpers and, finally, "be kind."

Graduate Christine A. Gilbert presented the class gift — a hammock farm for a shady spot on campus. The plan calls for several posts to be installed in a location where students can hang hammocks and relax.