Graduates celebrated at traditional Torchlight Ceremony

The Oswego Alumni Association welcomed some of its newest members during Friday’s Commencement Eve Torchlight Ceremony, which drew more than 650 alumni, graduating seniors, parents, faculty and staff to the north lawn of the Campus Center.

Generations of SUNY Oswego graduates welcomed the senior class to the Oswego Alumni Association during the Torchlight Ceremony May 14. With 70-plus years of practice, Torchlight is second-oldest campus tradition after Commencement.Some 200 seniors celebrated their pending graduation and symbolically shared a flame from the Torch of Learning with candles. World Wrestling Entertainment executive and 1982 alumna Donna Goldsmith emceed the event, a campus tradition for more than seven decades.

“Now go proudly and take your knowledge into the wider world,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said during her remarks. “Turn your thoughts to the problems that beset our society. Unleash your creativity in the service of humanity.”

Goldsmith, recently named the second most powerful woman in sports by Forbes magazine, encouraged students to give their time and talent back to Oswego at the Torchlight Dinner that preceded the ceremony.

“Even with the demands of my job ... I take time to help steer SUNY Oswego graduates in the right direction,” the WWE chief operating officer said. “It’s really important that alumni connect with students.”

Goldsmith said she was “proud and privileged” to have career success rivaling that of high school classmates who went on to Ivy League institutions.

“SUNY Oswego played a major part in getting me where I am today,” said Goldsmith, whose career has also included executive positions at Revlon, Swatch Watch and the National Basketball Association. True to her words, she shared some straightforward advice with the graduates-to-be.

“Cut the text talk,” Goldsmith said, referring to the grammatically challenged mobile phone medium of communication. “You’re asking to get into business in a very competitive environment and you need to be your best.”

The 2010 senior class honored one of their best during the Torchlight Dinner. Business administration major Allison Rent was named Outstanding Senior.

The Vega co-president, Omicron Delta Kappa honor society member and Phi Beta Lamba honor society executive board volunteer thanked her classmates, professors and parents in a short speech.

Seniors also unveiled $10,500 they raised for their Class Gift. The money will be distributed to campus causes of each donor’s choosing.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pass it on—Generations of SUNY Oswego graduates welcomed the senior class to the Oswego Alumni Association during the Torchlight Ceremony May 14. With 70-plus years of practice, Torchlight is second-oldest campus tradition after Commencement.

(Posted: May 17, 2010)

Tags: alumni