May 2021

Statement from Chancellor Malatras on Onondaga Community College’s Graduation

May 15, 2021

"Onondaga Community College is known for its academic excellence, workforce advancement, and community engagement, and today’s graduates have already used these values as a guiding force in their daily lives. Over the past 14 months, we’ve seen these students answer the call to give back to their community through delivering and donating much-needed supplies to local organizations, serving on the frontlines to take care of those with COVID-19, and assisting with vaccination efforts.

Today, I was moved by a student speaker who came to the U.S. from a refugee camp in search of a better life—she represents the many students who strive to succeed, with SUNY being there to show them the way, and helping to unlock the door to a better life through education. That’s the power of our system at work.

Onondaga Community College’s graduates are prepared to take the world by force—we congratulate them on this milestone, and all of their accomplishments. The 2021 graduating class has already shown what great leaders they are, and they will undoubtedly achieve success in this next chapter of their lives."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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Holly Liapis
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