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convocationAfter what has been a cool and rainy spring, Friday, May 18th, 2012, dawned sunny, bright and warm on Long Island. Perfect weather in which to graduate!

The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences 2012 convocation ceremony began with a slideshow of its graduating class at 8:30 a.m. in the Student Activities Center Auditorium on Main Campus. At 9:00 a.m. SoMAS’s convocation ceremony began. Dean, Minghua Zhang, entered the auditorium with faculty advisors followed by fifty-three (53) of the seventy (70) undergraduates who have applied to graduate receiving one of the four undergraduate degrees offered by SoMAS. Following directly behind the undergraduates were thirty-three (33) graduate students and their advisors in the M.A., M.S., and Ph.D. degree programs.

The graduates were joined by their fellow students, SoMAS faculty and a large contingent of family members who had come to see their loved ones reach a milestone in their lives. SoMAS’s Dean, Minghua Zhang, welcomed the graduates and their families with opening remarks encouraging graduates as they moved forward in life and into their careers, to find a niche that provides the opportunity to do things they truly enjoy; wealth and position have their rewards, but there are others. Thereupon, the undergraduates were presented their degrees.

Following the awarding of the undergraduate degrees the Stony Brook Alumni Association Dean’s Choice Awards was presented by Dr. Frank Roethel. Recipients of the Dean’s Choice Awards are students in each of our majors with the top GPA. They are: Alyssa Mathew (ATM), Deanna Lally (ENS), Madalyn Murray and Danica Warns (MAR), and Sean Fitzgerald (MVB).

Sean Patrick Fitzgerald was also recognized for Undergraduate Honors having received a 4.0 GPA and one of the students receiving the Ward Melville Valedictorian Award. In addition to receiving that award he received the Provost’s Award for Academic Excellence, and the Undergraduate Recognition Award.

Dr. Sultan Hameed presented the Petra M. Udelhofen Memorial Scholarship Award to Daniel Caputi.

Dr. Carl Safina offered the Commencement Address “How to Be Important”, offering simple steps to succeeding and becoming important 1) Be Lucky, 2) Never Grow Up, 3) Always be Curious, 4) Fail, 5) Never Give Up, 6) Take Yourself Seriously, 7) Never Take Yourself Too Seriously, 8) Develop Your Own Measures of Success, 9) Never Chase Money, 10) Work to Make a Better World.

Following the Commencement Address, Master’s Degrees and Doctorates were presented by Dr. Anne McElroy along with the Best Thesis/Dissertation Award.

After brief closing remarks, all were off to join the thousands of others at the main University convocation.

The faculty, staff and students of SoMAS salute the 2012 graduates, and the families and friends who have supported them along the way. We wish them well and hope they will stay in touch.


135 images taken by Kurt Bretsch are available on Google Photos.


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