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January 30, 2008

Winter Commencement at St. Francis

125 Students Graduate at January 30 Ceremony

More than 120 St. Francis College students and their families crowded into the Anthony J. Genovesi Center, Wednesday, January 30 for the College's Winter Commencement. The number of students who walked the aisle to receive their diplomas was the largest for a ceremony that continues to be an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional Spring Commencement.

"Our January graduates include many students who are putting in extra effort to graduate in less than four years, eager to move on to the next phase of their lives," said President Frank Macchiarola '62. "They are some of our most motivated students and while we will miss them in our hallways, we are proud that they are going out there as the latest representatives of our Franciscan Tradition."

Dr. Arthur Hughes, a History Professor who has been with the College for more than forty-six years delivered the commencement speech. Professor Hughes just completed teaching his last semester of a long and celebrated career at St. Francis and is now retired. In the past few years, Dr. Hughes completed the book, A Life of Brooklyn, 1903-1904, and was known for his well-attended lecture series on topics ranging from Christianity to Current Problems in Asia to Unraveling the Sixties. The courses were open, not just to students, but to the Brooklyn Heights Community at large. Professor Hughes had also been named to the College's Duns Scotus Honor Society.

Dr. Hughes told the students that one of the things he is most fond of about St. Francis College students is that, "They want to do well, which is natural, but they want to do good in doing well." He gave the example that when St. Francis graduates become lawyers many go on to practice in areas like civil service and for non-profit groups.

Among the winter 2008 graduates:

  • Patricia Tuthill is a world-class dancer who spent eleven years at Ballet Tech ( as principal dancer, soloist and senior creative collaborator. She was involved with the choreography of more than forty ballets. Patricia also founded the Venus Arts Garden (a not-for-profit arts center that allows hundreds of local artists to premiere their work in a variety of fields like film, music and dance) and producer and choreographed for the Cedar Lake Ensemble. She is graduating with a BA in American History and a GPA of over 3.9.
  • Jadelyn Castillo was captain of the Women's Volleyball team and member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll for maintaining a grade point average of 3.2 or higher. She is a psychology major and will be attending graduate school to pursue her education in school counseling and teen therapy.
  • Salvatore Ippolito is an international student from Italy who majored in Mathematics. "Since I stepped into the College I realized that it was the place where I wanted to continue my studies. With the advisement and support of two excellent professors, Dr. Fotios Paliogiannis, chair of the department, and Dr. Erez Shochat, I steadily advanced academically," said Ippolito. He says that without them he would not have gained admission into the Manhattan College Mechanical Engineering Master's Program.

Eight students were awarded for their academic work with a Summa Cum Laude distinction including Tuthill and Ippolito, as well as Antoinette Cascetta, Cora Devon Clark, Vanessa Galasso, Tara Marie Johnson, Michelle Lucero and Sergio Thomas.

As the latest group of winter graduates gets set to leave St. Francis, the largest application pool of students is forming for the Fall 2008 semester.

"Over the past several years, we've seen a nice increase in interest from High School students, not just from around New York City, but from across the country and the world," said Director of Admission John McAuliffe. "Word-of-mouth is getting out there about the quality of our programs and the success of our graduates in a variety of fields like Accounting, Business Management, Psychology, Communications and Education."

In addition to undergraduate degrees, this spring, the first St. Francis College graduate students will receive their Master's Degree as part of the 5-year Combined Bachelor's/Master's Degree program. Of the eight students set to graduate this year, five will walk down the aisle and on to jobs with Big Four accounting firms; another is going to a hedge fund while one plans to travel before joining the workforce.

St. Francis College, founded in 1859 by the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn, is located in Brooklyn 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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