HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There are 2,500 new alumni at Central Connecticut State University, as the class of 2017 received their degrees Saturday.
Organizers described the floor of the arena as a sea of blue and white, as the school celebrated its 168th commencement Saturday morning. Guest speakers included U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) system; Yvette Melendez, vice chair of the Board of Regents; and L. Edward Vescovi, president of the CCSU Alumni Association.
According to a news release from CCSU, the vast majority of the new graduates (96%) are Connecticut residents. Members of the class of 2017 also hail from 14 U.S. states and 23 foreign countries. During the ceremony, 425 students were recognized for achieving academic distinction (cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude).
CCSU President Zulma R. Toro, presiding over her first CCSU commencement, expressed her “joy and hope” for those about to earn a bachelor’s degree.
This special distinction brings with it an enormous responsibility,” she told them. “The expectations of you as an educated member of our democratic society are high and varied.”
She advised them to be “an active participant in decision making processes that affect democracy; be part of the dialogue to find solutions to the challenges affecting Connecticut and its communities, and to be an advocate of human rights and diversity, in all its dimensions.”