A New #GradontheWater
Imploring the graduates to "Stand up and yell," WNBC 4 New York Anchor and Reporter David Ushery commended the Class of 2018 for overcoming obstacles and doing the work necessary to reach Spring Commencement on May 17 at the Ford Amphitheater in Coney Island.
President Miguel Martinez-Saenz with Commencement Speaker David Ushery (NBC4 New York), Board of Trustees Chairman John F. Tully '67, and Vice President for Development Thomas Flood.
"If you fall, we can help pick you up. If you make a mistake, we can help you learn from it and fix it. If one door closes on you, we can help you find another door," said Ushery. "But if you give up, if you become disillusioned, we've all lost. But I know you won't. I know St. Francis. You got this. You made it this far. You are Brooklyn Strong."
The valedictorian for the Class of 2018 was Valerie Kaufmann '18, a Communication Arts major with a double minor in Fine Arts and French. In addition to perfect grades, Kaufmann also interned at the Smithsonian Institution, Homes for Homeless, Institute for Children, Poverty & Homelessness, New York State United Teachers, and in the Office of United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
"Our generation needs to take a front seat in shaping the future. That's what our success is going to look like; not the money you make, not the fame you achieve but the communities that you help to build," said Kaufmann who also volunteers at multiple organizations around the city. "We can be proud of the community we've helped to build at St. Francis. Now it's time to pay it forward and take that engagement out into the world."
Spring Baccalaureate Mass
The College hosted a Baccalaureate Mass the night before commencement at St. James Cathedral Basilica with Celebrant The Most Reverend James Massa, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn (shaking hands with Niccole Salomone '18).
Valedictorian for the Class of 2018 Winter Commencement Kejsi Shkreta '18 offered words of encouragement to her fellow graduates at the ceremony January 16, 2018, "Try to not forget, we are the sum of all our experiences. Everything we do and choose not to do leads to what we will be tomorrow."