Honors Convocation to feature alumna speaker

Patrice ClaytonNearly 100 students will receive awards at the college’s Honors Convocation at 3 p.m. Friday, April 21, in the Hewitt Union ballroom. Patrice Clayton, a 1994 graduate of Oswego who is now a New York City entrepreneur, will be the featured speaker.

The annual convocation is put on by Vega, the women’s honor society at SUNY Oswego. The ceremony begins and ends with a formal academic procession of robed faculty and administrators. Academic departments present the awards to outstanding students in recognition of academic achievement.

Honors Convocation is one of the featured events of a week of activities devoted to recognition of academic achievement. Among the many events are Quest, SUNY Oswego’s annual symposium of presentations by faculty and students of their research and creative projects, on April 19 and ceremonies inducting students into various honor societies or recognizing their attainments, including listing in the national directory “Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.”

In addition to delivering the Honors Convocation address, Clayton will speak to classes at SUNY Oswego as part of the Oswego Alumni Association’s Alumni-in-Residence program, said Betsy Oberst, director of alumni relations. Clayton owns and operates the Harlem Tea Room, a popular eatery that also hosts and caters tea parties for children and for adults.

A native of New York City, Clayton lived in Harlem and the Bronx while growing up. She majored in marketing at Oswego and went on to earn a master’s of business administration degree from Case Western Reserve University with concentrations in marketing and entrepreneurial studies.
She held several corporate jobs over the years, including manager of rewards management at American Express, before starting her own business.

Her lifelong love of tea inspired her entrepreneurial spirit. She opened the Harlem Tea Room in 2004. Her business has been showcased on news programs on CBS, NBC, ABC and the WB television networks. It has also been featured in the Harlem News, New York Times, Crain’s Business Week, Savoy Professional, Uptown Magazine and, most recently, O Magazine.

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(Posted: Apr 10, 2006)