(SPARKILL, N.Y. — May 20, 2021) — St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) held its 64th Commencement Exercises in-person on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, at Palisades Credit Union Park in Pomona, NY, the baseball home of the New York Boulders — and the STAC Spartans. The excitement was palpable while over 300 students were celebrated and awarded master’s, bachelor’s, and associate’s degrees on a beautiful spring day.
It was an honor to have as our guest, Dr. Philip O. Ozuah, MD, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Montefiore Medicine, who delivered an inspiring and poignant Commencement address to the Class of 2021, sending them off with words of wisdom as they begin their career journeys during this challenging time. In his closing statement, Dr. Ozuah said, “Always strive for excellence and go boldly into the future and make a name for yourself.” Dr. Ozuah was also bestowed The Honorary Doctor of Public Service degree by STAC President, Kenneth D. Daly.
President Daly shared kind words with each graduate, and stated: “While the history books will document the devastating COVID health and economic impacts that have continued into 2021, I will always remember how my first graduating class navigated these challenges and safeguarded the entire STAC community. I will also remember how, together, we launched our Center for Social Justice and began to listen and learn from one another in our commitment to ensure that all voices are heard and that we become part of the solution in the turbulent days ahead. I know you will be your best self … and I know you will make an impact. You have made an impact on me … and you have left an indelible mark here at the College.”
Salutatorian, Niamh Ellen McKevitt, and Valedictorian, Daniel Alan Monarchi, spoke to the graduating class and shed light on their fulfilling time at the College.
Student Class Service Awards included the Gold Key and Silver Key Service Awards—the Gold Key Service Award was presented to Michael Paul Gonoud, Abagaile Therese Kimbrell, Samuel Harris Naveran, and Matthew Ray Quinones; the Silver Key Service Award was presented to Nicholas Austin DiPietro, Mary Elizabeth Dristle, Gianna Philomena Galu, Hayley Nicole Kousoulas, Kristina Nicole Lodato, Christina Carla Maretzo, George Meizah Nkrumah, Michael James Rappo, Alexandra Rose Presti, Sadiki E. St. George, and Paige Louise Toothaker. The Terence Cardinal Cooke Award was presented to Anabel Garcia, who has demonstrated outstanding and meritorious service; the Jon Roberts Award was awarded to Felicity Erica Popovich, for earning the highest academic excellence in Literary Studies; the Sister Regina Rosaire Dolan Award was presented to Taylor Marie Gorman, for having the highest academic excellence in the School of Education graduate program; the Francis Cardinal Spellman Award was given to Hayley Nicole Kousoulas and Daniel Alan Monarchi for the highest academic excellence in the undergraduate program; and the Betty LaSala Award was given to Abagaile Therese Kimbrell for earning the highest academic excellence in the Sciences.
In addition to the Special Awards, students who completed the Honors Program of Study and Aquinas Leaders Program were officially recognized for their admirable accomplishments.
The STAC community is thankful to the College’s dedicated faculty, staff, students, friends, and all who came together to celebrate our graduates this week. We are especially proud of the Class of 2021 for their hard work, tenacity, and resilience while adapting to extraordinary conditions over the past year. Congratulations to the St. Thomas Aquinas College Class of 2021!
St. Thomas Aquinas College is an independent liberal arts college located on 72 acres in Rockland County, NY, which provides education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The College’s approximately 2,000 full and part-time students can choose from more than 100 different majors, minors, specializations, and dual degree programs across three Schools: Arts & Sciences, Business, and Education. The College is recognized by U.S. News & World Report in the Top-Tier for Regional Universities, by Colleges of Distinction in both its New York and Catholic editions, by Affordable Colleges Online as a top College in New York for Return on Investment, and is included as a Military Friendly School. St. Thomas Aquinas College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools; its School of Education is a candidate for accreditation by the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), and its School of Business is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). For more information, visit www.stac.edu.