Senior PR executive and 2001 graduate Saleem Cheeks will emcee the 74th edition of the ceremony, which officially welcomes graduating seniors to the Oswego Alumni Association. Members of the Inner Circle will symbolically pass the flame of knowledge to students with candles May 15, the eve of Commencement.
“Saleem is a recent grad who’s continued to be involved with the college and we think he serves as a wonderful model for our graduating seniors,” Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations and Stewardship Betsy Oberst said. “He was a student leader who has gone on to become an accomplished professional.”
Cheeks quickly carved himself a distinguished career in politics and public relations after graduating from Oswego.
As an appointee of former New York Gov. George Pataki from 2001 to 2006, his titles included policy analyst and deputy director for legislative affairs. As deputy press secretary in the state’s executive chamber, Cheeks was the governor’s spokesman in such policy areas as economic development, homeland security, emergency management, Indian affairs, gaming, transportation, local government, parks, historic preservation and military affairs.
Cheeks now serves as a senior account supervisor for public affairs in the Albany office of Eric Mower and Associates, an integrated marketing communications firm. He served as Student Association president while a student and currently serves on the College Council.
The political science major served as deputy director of transportation during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City. In addition, he has handled campaign events for several presidential candidates.
A small group of seniors have special roles in the ceremony: Ainsley Haffner will be Torchlight Dinner student mistress of ceremonies; Samantha Calabrese, Torchlight Ceremony student mistress of ceremonies; Jamie Burgess, student speaker; and Arlee Logan, torchbearer. Adam Szarpa, Sara Davidson and Robin Dienhoffer will represent the senior class in the Inner Circle.
For more information on this year’s event or to represent your class in the Inner Circle, call 315-312-2258.
(Posted: May 08, 2009)