More than 500 Graduates Expected to Participate; More than 800 Earned Degrees in the Past Year

PHOTO: SUNY Orange CommencementMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – More than 500 graduates have registered to participate in SUNY Orange’s 68th Commencement ceremony, slated to begin at 5 p.m., Thursday, May 17 on the Alumni Green at the College’s Middletown campus.

Dental Hygiene professor Dr. Frederick Melone and December 2017 graduate Rachael Richards will be the featured speakers. In all, more than 800 students will have completed their associate’s degree or certificate requirements during August, December or May of this current academic year. That total is pending final review of all May graduate candidates’ transcripts.

Any student who completed the necessary academic requirements during the 2017-18 academic year, or is slated to conclude a program of study this summer, is eligible to participate in Commencement. SUNY Orange awards diplomas to students who earn Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degrees, as well as graduation certificates to those who complete the College’s various certificate programs.

Helen Ullrich, chair of the SUNY Orange Board of Trustees, and SUNY Orange President Dr. Kristine Young will host the ceremony. Additional remarks will be offered by Harry Porr, director of operations for Orange County, and Derrik Wynkoop, chairman of the SUNY Orange Foundation’s Board of Directors. Graduate Zipphora Rutty will serve as the student marshal and will lead the graduate processional and recessional.

Appointed to the College’s faculty ranks in July 2000 as supervising dentist in the dental hygiene program, Melone is concluding his 18th year at SUNY Orange. He presently holds the rank of full professor, teaches four courses and servers as the program’s clinical instructor.

He has served on a variety of College committees and task forces throughout his tenure, has mentored students and has worked to integrate the Dental Hygiene Department into activities at the College and within the broader community. Melone is a member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. He graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, before enlisting in the military and training at the Brooke Army Medical Center’s U.S. Army Medical Field Service School. He served in the U.S. Army Dental Corps for nearly four years and was discharged with the rank of Major, prior to entering private general dental practice.

Richards, a graduate of Warwick Valley High School, earned her liberal arts degree with honors (magna cum laude) in December. She was a member of the SUNY Orange chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for students at two-year colleges and universities. She received two academic awards in chemistry in 2017, was a regular member of the Dean’s list, served as president of the Chemistry and Engineering Club, and was vice president of the Student Senate.

She spent this spring semester as a chemistry major at Binghamton University (SUNY) and intends to pursue a doctorate degree in analytical or organic chemistry. She is presently conducting research, under the direction of a Binghamton professor, aimed at discovering organic, solvent-free methods of removing lead from drinking water.

Rutty, who will accept her liberal arts degree (with a focus on law), is a graduate of New Paltz High School who has been active in student government and campus life at SUNY Orange’s Newburgh campus. She served as a student senator, holding leadership roles as secretary and president, and was a founding member of the campus’ Unity Day event. She will attend SUNY New Paltz this fall as continues pursuit of a law degree.

In the event of inclement weather, Commencement would be moved indoors to the Edward A. Diana Physical Education Center.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940