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January 23, 2012

St. Francis College Winter Commencement Speaker Tells Graduates Don't Settle for Getting By, &Quot;choose to Succeed"

Telling her fellow classmates that getting by is not enough, St. Francis College Winter 2012 Valedictorian, Hadar Burger encouraged her classmates to follow their dreams with passion and to, “choose to flourish and to succeed.” (Watch the valedictory speech)

Her speech highlighted an afternoon of ceremony on Monday, January 23 at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brooklyn Heights that began with a Baccalaureate Mass celebrated by Revered Edward Doran, Ph.D., continued with an organ concert from St. Francis Professor Michael Kaminsky and concluded with the commencement ceremony for the winter graduates. (Watch the commencement ceremony)

Burger is an Israeli national with a double major in Management (concentration in Finance), and Economics. She interned at National Grid for two years, working in the Investment Management area of the Treasury Division. Burger also interned at the New York Stock Exchange Euronext on Wall Street in the Operations Division. For two years, she was also a member of the Women’s Water Polo and Swimming teams, earning All-Conference and Pre-season accolades. Burger graduates with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

Dean of Academic Program Development Allen Burdowski delivered the Commencement Address, advising that the most important part of life is not what happens but how a person reacts to what happens. “We hope that you will always do the right thing, not only for yourself, but for society in general,” said Dr. Burdowski who helped launch the College’s two graduate programs in Accounting and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management. He is currently working to add future programs in Psychology, the sciences and other areas. Dr. Burdowski is the former Chair of the Biology and Information Technology Departments and still teaches Biology at the College. He has earned worldwide media attention for his research with fellow St. Francis College Biology Professor Steven Lipson, showing the effectiveness of cranberry and grape juice in combating stomach viruses.

Among the students who graduated are:
Kayla Rebecca Reece:
Born in Florida and raised in Guyana, Kayla graduates with a degree in Communication Arts (concentration in Advertising and Public Relations). She also minored in Women’s Studies and International Cultural Studies and was Deputy Editor in Charge of the St. Francis student newspaper, Now a New Yorker, Kayla has worked on domestic and regional marketing campaigns for Air Guyana Inc.

Georgette A. Loutfi earned her degree in professional studies. She is special education teacher’s assistant in the New York City public schools and will now take her exam to become a licensed teacher or bilingual educator. Georgette, who was an elementary school teacher in Lebanon was presented with her diploma by her son, Richard, a St. Francis graduate from the Class of 2010.

Minerva Rolon, a secretary in the Information Technology department at the College, received her Associate in Arts Degree.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located inBrooklyn Heights, N.Y. Since its founding, the College has pursued its Franciscan mission to provide an affordable, high-quality education to students from New York City’s five boroughs and beyond.


St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201

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