2016 Remarks at May Honors Ceremony

2016 Remarks at May Honors Ceremony

May 12, 2016

Student Center, The College of Westchester

As delivered.


Tonight you are receiving a very distinguished honor that will stay with you forever, just like your CW education.  It is an intangible asset on your life’s balance sheet and it adds nicely to your resume as well!  Being inducted into an honor society speaks volumes about you as an individual – everyone has a choice to work toward success or simply to coast along and you have chosen to succeed at the highest level.  We are all very proud of you, and we are honored to have you as distinguished students at CW.  You enrich the tapestry of our lives as educators.   

As your CW President, it is my duty to continue to help perpetuate the success of the college.  And I do so by asking for your continued growth as individuals with much to offer society.  Please go forth and be our ambassadors of goodwill and recommend our college to your friends and family, as they too can benefit from this fine education.

I would like to share a personal story of success from my own personal experience, about a CW graduate that I met in 2002 when he was in 10th grade.  I was visiting his high school class and spoke with the group of students about careers, continuing their education by attending college, determining what you want to do with your life by thinking smart, following your passion, and putting your goals into action.  I would always ask students if they want more information about CW, and many always did.  One student came up to talk with me after class, and asked for my business card. 

As Lou tells it, he then put it in his wallet, where it remained for two more years until he was a senior in high school.  He called CW, made an appointment, he visited, and enrolled.  He finished his associate degree in Digital Media Management and was actually worked with me as a student intern for Westchester Putnam Rockland Counseling Association (WPRCA).  I am the technology liaison on their board.  Lou built our website as his internship project.  He launched his business, Incision Network, while a student at CW, graduated and continued to build his business after graduation.  Years later, he re-enrolled at CW for the BBA in Business Administration, in order to round out his business knowledge and graduated in December of 2014. 

Lou has a successful web design and hosting service, search engine optimization, and app design.   To come full circle, Lou contracted this time with WPRCA to redesign the website that he had first created for us, and this time, instead of an internship, we paid him for his time and expertise. Most recently Lou partnered with our Enactus club. Their efforts won them national recognition.

Louis was one of our scholars, a member of both Phi Theta Kappa and Sigma Beta Delta, and one of our CW Charitable Foundation Scholars.  Your induction tonight will have a positive ripple effect, which you won’t realize until you look back in years to come.  

It is all what you make it, and you are all individuals who focus and achieve.  May this be just one of many honors you receive, and just one of many successes.  And remember too that when you tell others about CW, you influence them in ways you may never directly know, or may not hear about right away.  Imagine my surprise when Lou started college at CW and then re-enrolled and graduated with his BBA.  Loved ones, especially cousins, younger brothers and sisters, and yes, even parents and grandparents are inspired by you, your scholarship, and your actions.

I would be remiss if I did not mention your loved ones who also support your efforts.  They are also to be congratulated.  To those spouses, significant others, parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren who are with you every step of the way, let’s give a round of applause.

Again, I extend my warmest congratulations.  Continue to strive for excellence for only you can truly make your dreams a reality, and you are clearly on your way.