Constance Schwartz ’90, a partner at SMAC Entertainment, delivered the keynote address to the nearly 600 graduates, family and friends who attended the Oswego Alumni Association’s annual Torchlight Eve Commencement Dinner in the Convocation Arena on May 16. The talent manager and alumna of Oswego’s marketing program charged the Class of 2014 attendees to approach life with a “not if, but when” attitude.
Following dinner, graduates processed into the Torchlight Ceremony behind the faculty, staff and alumni representing classes from 1947 to 2013.
Schwartz served as the emcee, and student speakers included Brittany Hoffmann ’14 and Molly Ross ’14. Jillian Phipps ’14 was the torchbearer. The State Singers, under the direction of Dr. Mihoko Tsutsumi, provided music, and Professor Juan La Manna played the piano.
During one of the longest standing traditions at the college, President Deborah F. Stanley shared the flame from the Torch of Learning to alumni who then passed the flame from their candle to the graduating seniors, as they were welcomed into the Oswego Alumni Association.
“Light your fire tonight from this Torch of Learning and keep it burning brightly as you leave us to set the world aflame with your ideas, your passion and your determination,” President Stanley said.
As President Stanley carried the Torch to the alumni in the audience, Schwartz shared the Message of the Torch, written by the late Dr. Lida S. Penfield, Class of 1919 and a long-time English professor:
“This torch is the symbol of the illumination of learning lighted for us at the fair shrine of truth. We, the alumni of SUNY Oswego, dedicate its bright burning to our memories of the light transferred from our school, through us, to others. May its glory never be dimmed.”