News Pulse - State University of New York at New Paltz

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer to graduates:'Go for it!'

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer gave a congratulatory speech to the graduate candidates at the December Commencement ceremony, Dec. 18, at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie.


Becca Cotton, a junior majoring in vocal performance, sings the Alma Mater at the 2004 December Commencement ceremony. U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and President Steven Poskanzer (center) sing along. More than 400 graduate candidates participated.

His advice to the more than 400 graduates participating: "Go for it! If ever there was a time to reach for your dreams, the time is now," he said.

Class valedictorian, Dany Assaf Curi, also addressed the graduates and guests with a speech that focused on two messages: one of unity and one of inspiration.

photo of valedictorian Dany Assaf Curi

"On Nov. 2, the Election Day just past, I found myself distressed. I wondered: 'How could a nation so powerful, so unique, blessed with so much, be split in half?,'" said Curi. "We are one nation, one people. When one of us is hurt, we all hurt. Let us join hands in unity against those whom wish to separate us and harm our nation."

Curi also spoke about the importance of using difficult experiences in life to make oneself a better person, through sharing how losing his older brother, Alee, to leukemia has positively directed his life.

"Witnessing Alee's suffering, agony and, finally, death over the course of a year-and-a-half instilled within me a powerful urge to spend the rest of my life working to alleviate pain and suffering experienced by those who become affected by sickness and disease," said Curi. "He is my inspiration, as well as my motivation, for wanting to become a physician."

Curi, a resident of Sleepy Hollow, is graduating from New Paltz with a bachelor's degree in cellular/molecular biology. He has also completed all requirements for his Pre-Med program of study. His cumulative GPA is 3.99.

In addition to Curi's speech, President Steven G. Poskanzer offered congratulatory remarks.

The salutatorian is Catherine Julie Mulvihill, Highland Mills. She received her bachelor's degree in elementary education, with a concentration in Spanish. Her cumulative GPA is 3.97.

There were 760 graduate candidates this December. The class included students who completed their studies in August and December.

DECEMBER 20, 2004
Volume 2, Issue 23

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