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ESF Graduates Encouraged to Show Humankind a Better Way

"We all came to ESF with a purpose: Help the world be better than when we found it. Now is when we make our debut to the world, equipped with the knowledge and the skills to create solutions in a world in a state of constant chaos," said Muskan Shrivastava, student speaker to graduates during December Commencement exercises for the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

Shrivastava, a bachelor's candidate, shared her remarks as part of the ceremonies held Friday at Hendricks Chapel to celebrate the accomplishments of ESF's newest graduates. The College conferred 86 degrees, including 29 master's degrees and 12 Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The ceremony also included the presentation of three Graduate of Distinction Awards.

Even when things do not go according to plan, Shrivastava asked her classmates to remember "all the incredible things you have accomplished here. You took leaps of faith and faced challenges here at ESF, so there is no reason you can't do the same going forward."

In her remarks to the graduates, President Joanie Mahoney said, "We're honored that you chose ESF as the place to pursue your passion and we can't wait to see where your paths take you next. Wherever that may be — a career or continued study — we're certain you will continue to make us all proud."

Mahoney continued with: "You came here with a desire to make the world a better place and you are leaving well-trained to execute that mission. You have been taught by some of the best faculty in the world and had access to people who are experts in their fields. And now you are among the people who can show all of humankind a better way. "

Three alumni were honored during commencement. Graduate of Distinction Awards were bestowed upon Karyn Bartow Richards '81, '84; Eric E. Murdock '93; and Meera A. Jagroop '12.

"The best jobs are not really work," said Bartow Richards. "Find something you look forward to doing every day. Be passionate. Bring your true self to the table and express yourself. Continue to lead life with purpose. Choosing ESF as the institution to further your education demonstrates you are already well along this path. "