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Virtual Commencement Ceremony Will be Held May 20

May 12, 2021

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Orange County Community College (SUNY Orange) will host its 71st Commencement Ceremony virtually beginning at 5 p.m., Thursday, May 20 as it celebrates the 801 members and candidates for the #SOClassof2021.

This year, SUNY Orange has paired with third-party vendor StageClip to craft a virtual ceremony that includes the traditional speeches, the ceremonial tassel turn, the playing of the Alma Mater, and College employees applauding the Class of 2021 in keeping with SUNY Orange’s traditional in-person, end-of-Commencement sendoff.

Most notable, however, is the opportunity for each graduate’s name to appear on its own slide, with the degree earned. Graduates were also able to personalize their slide by uploading a photo and/or submitting a message of thanks/appreciation, a notable quote or other message.

Graduates who completed their degree requirements last August or December, or are candidates for degree completion this May or August (based upon certain stipulations) are eligible for inclusion in the virtual ceremony.

Featured speakers will be Paul Basinski, chair of the Global Studies Department, who will offer remarks on behalf of the College faculty and staff, and Nicholas Kanan, president of the Student Senate and a member of the graduating class. Kanan is a resident of Middletown. Additional remarks will be offered by Fred Watson, chair of the SUNY Orange Board of Trustees, and Dr. Kristine Young, SUNY Orange president.

Commencement 2021: Where to Watch

The ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. and will be available on several online platforms, including versions viewable on a website, via YouTube and on Facebook, with each platform providing differing levels of engagement.


  • The ceremony will be a live event on the College’s Facebook page (facebook.com/sunyorange), and the Facebook platform will allow for the greatest level of engagement by viewers, who will have the chance to comment and congratulate the graduates throughout the event.


  • At the same time, Commencement will premiere on the SUNY Orange YouTube channel (com/sunyorangevideo), with some engagement and chat functionality available to viewers.

StageClip website

  • Finally, the event will simulcast on the StageClip website (sunyorange.stageclip.com), and at the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates will be able to download and share their individual clips from this website.

How to Engage


  • Friends, relatives and community members can also leave messages for graduates on an online Kudoboard (https://www.kudoboard.com/boards/jAbgjEpF) being sponsored by the SUNY Orange Foundation and Alumni Relations. Shortly following Commencement, the Foundation will convert the Kudoboard messages into a keepsake booklet that will be mailed, along with an alumni pin, to all graduates.

Social Media Wall

Selfie Contest

  • Take a selfie on May 20th to show how you are celebrating Commencement. Tag your photos with both hashtags: #SOClassof2021 and #SelfieContest - for more information and full rules, please visit our Graduation Selfie Contest Grapevine Post.

Congratulatory messages

In addition to speeches during the official ceremony, the College has compiled an array of congratulatory messages from educational and elected leaders, including United States Senator Charles Schumer, New York State Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul, SUNY Chancellor James Malatras, Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and SUNY Orange Foundation Board of Directors Chair Frank Peverly  These messages will be shared online on May 20 via the College’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, on the following schedule: Hochul, 3 p.m.; Schumer, 4 p.m.; Malatras, 4:30 p.m.; Neuhaus 4:50; and Peverly 4:55.