Torchlight celebration adds award presentation

imageOne of the SUNY Oswego’s oldest traditions will join a new one as seniors celebrate Commencement Eve on Friday, May 13.

The Torchlight Ceremony, which since 1936 has welcomed graduating seniors into the Oswego Alumni Association by passing the torch of learning, is the centerpiece of Commencement Eve celebrations.

New this year is the Outstanding Senior Award, which the Oswego Alumni Association will present to psychology major Kyle J. Schultz of Nichols at the Commencement Eve dinner.

In the psychology department, Schultz served as a peer adviser, teaching assistant, research assistant and president of the Psychology Club.

He was a summer orientation coordinator and resident assistant. A Sheldon Leader, he was a student speaker at SUNY College Night and offered a student perspective to the Provost Search Committee.

He works as a therapy aide at Oswego Hospital’s behavioral services department and volunteers at the Tioga County Nursing Home and American Cancer Society Daffodil Days.

The master of ceremonies for the Torchlight Ceremony will be Jeffrey S. Calderon, a 1981 graduate of SUNY Oswego and the Western New York territorial manager for Allstate Insurance Co.

At Allstate, he is responsible for more than $213 million in insurance premiums, a sales force of 150 agents and financial specialists, and the service and care of more than 270,000 customers and households.

Calderon has continued his relationship with his alma mater and was recently instrumental in helping to secure a $25,000 grant to the Oswego College Foundation from the Allstate Foundation.

He is married to Hollie Elleman Calderon, a 1981 graduate of Oswego and a vice president with JP Morgan Chase.

Commencement Eve activities will begin with a reception at 5 p.m. in The Forum of Hewitt Union and dinner in the ballroom at 6:30 p.m., with mistress of ceremonies Kerry Brewer, a senior.

Dinner costs $25 or $30, depending on choice of entree. Graduating seniors can purchase their own tickets for $5, thanks to a grant from Auxiliary Services. At 8:30 p.m., StateSingers will lead the Senior Sing in Sheldon Park, between Culkin Hall and Hewitt Union.

Members of the Class of 2005 who will participate in the Torchlight Ceremony at 9 p.m. will be student mistress of ceremonies Emily King, torchbearer Joel Diaz and speaker Mary Beth Beaton. Class of 2005 inner circle representatives will be Caitlin Dunn and Millie Gaines.

Reservations are required for the dinner. Attendees should call the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at 312-2258 or make online reservations at by May 6. All activities except the dinner will be free and open to faculty, staff, seniors, their friends and their families.

Alumni and members of the faculty and staff who wish to participate in the Torchlight Ceremony as members of the inner circle may call 312-2258 to volunteer.

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(Posted: Apr 29, 2005)