47 Commencement



Letter from the Chancellor To the Graduating Class of 2021:

Greetings from the Optometric Center of New York The trustees of the College’s foundation, the Optometric Center of New York, salute the Class of 2021 on a tremendous achievement. The road to graduation included an unprecedented shift in the journey but navigated by all of you with great perseverance and pride. Celebrate your success today with the knowledge that you can rise above the challenges of tomorrow, you are more than ready! On behalf of the entire OCNY Board, congratulations and best wishes as you embark on your careers. Richard Soden, OD ‘79 President Greetings from the Alumni Association Congratulations to the resilient Class of 2021 as you celebrate the most memorable commencement in the College’s 50 year history. We are proud to welcome you to our extraordinary optometric family! Close to 3,400 SUNY College of Optometry alumni join me in congratulating you on this tremendous life accomplishment. We hope you will enjoy this profession as much as we do, and encourage you to become actively involved with your newest alma mater. We look forward to the day we can gather together and celebrate many milestones with you! Samar Awad, OD ‘92 President Greetings from the New York State Optometric Association On behalf of the New York State Optometric Association, I congratulate all of the 2021 graduates. As a class and as individuals, you have navigated the path from student to professional during one of the most challenging times in healthcare and in history. May your tenacity and focus amid adversity serve as a lasting legacy that will inspire generations to follow and be a reminder that no obstacle is greater than our power to overcome it. We wish you the best of luck as you start your careers in optometry and remember that the NYSOA is always there to lend a helping hand in good times and in bad. I look forward to sharing the success of your careers and to working with you to champion our wonderful profession. Viola Kanevsky, OD ‘93 President

Living through a pandemic is likely not how you expected to finish your last semesters at SUNY College of Optometry, nor how you expected to start your life after college. Major milestone celebrations over the 13 months have been postponed, cancelled, or modified, including commencements. I know this is not the ideal outcome after years of hard work and studying, but this does not diminish your tremendous accomplishment. Despite all the challenges thrown at you and having your senior year of college unceremoniously turned upside-down, you persevered to earn your degree. Although we were not able to celebrate your graduation with all the normal pomp and circumstance it so rightfully deserves, let it be known that we are all so proud of the Class of 2021— the persistence, determination, and grit you have shown to complete your studies amidst a number of obstacles is exemplary. As you look toward the future, know your SUNY education has prepared you to succeed in whatever you put your mind to—whether it be furthering your education or joining the workforce. The 2021 SUNY Optometrists will continue the SUNY legacy of changing the world no matter where you go, and I look forward to seeing all that you accomplish. On behalf of everyone at SUNY, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to you and your fellow 2021 graduates. You make us proud. Sincerely, Jim Malatras Chancellor Greetings from the College Council On behalf of the College Council, I congratulate the Class of 2021. We are proud of all that you have accomplished, despite the challenges of a pandemic, to reach this pivotal milestone in your academic journey. As Doctors of Optometry armed with the finest professional education, you are prepared to play a vital role in our health care system and, in so doing, change lives for the better. We salute you and the good work you will do in your future careers. Gretchen Stone, MAT Chair

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