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Jefferson to Celebrate 50th Commencement Ceremony on May 16

50th Commencement Icon50th Commencement IconJefferson Community College will hold its 50th annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. in the McVean Student Center Gymnasium.  In recognition of the College’s 50th commencement milestone, the Jefferson Community College Board of Trustees formally dedicated the 50th commencement ceremony to Jefferson’s first graduating class of 1965 in a resolution at the Board of Trustees meeting held on May 7.  Thirty-six students graduated on June 12, 1965 and were awarded an associate of applied science degree in business, an associate in applied science degree in engineering science or an associate of arts degree in liberal arts.   

The College is privileged that distinguished alumnus and professor emeritus Richard F. Young, class of 1968, will give the keynote address at the commencement exercises.   Mr. Young, a member of Jefferson’s 4th graduating class, retired from Jefferson in 2012 after 41 years of service to the College.  In addition to his associate of arts degree in liberal arts from Jefferson, Mr. Young holds a bachelor of arts in liberal arts-speech from SUNY Geneseo and a master of arts from the University of Oregon.

Richard YoungRichard YoungMr. Young holds the distinction of Jefferson’s longest serving member of the campus community.  During his four-decade tenure, primarily as a professor of speech communication,  Young taught thousands of students, chaired or served on hundreds of committees, provided thoughtful guidance to colleagues and mentored new faculty, and did so while demonstrating extraordinary commitment to the mission of Jefferson.  He served as president of the FacultyAssociation for seven years, was a 25-year member of the Faculty Student Association, and a member of the JCC Foundation Board of Directors.  In 1978, he was recognized with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and honored again in 2006 with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellent in Faculty Service. Young is credited with assisting in the formation of the JCC Alumni Association, an organization in which he served as president for eight years.   In 1989, he received Jefferson’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award and was named to the SUNY Alumni Honor Roll in 1994.

In the community, Young is the founder and former president of the Jeff-Lewis Mediation Center and is a highly sought after expert in conflict resolution, negotiation and mediation. He has volunteered with many community organizations and events and is currently a councilman for the Town of Hounsfield. 

It is anticipated that more than 600 graduates in the Class of 2014 will be awarded degrees or certificates. Tickets are required for admission to the gymnasium and each student who is participating in the ceremony has received up to four tickets for guest seating in the bleachers. The ceremony will be simulcast in the air-conditioned Sturtz Theater and tickets are not required for entrance to the Sturtz Theater.  The commencement exercises will be video-streamed through the College’s website,, beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Guest entrance doors, adjacent to Parking Lot D, will open at 6:30 p.m. and handicapped and special needs guests may disembark at this entrance.

Free childcare is available during the commencement ceremony and reception for children (ages 18 months to 12 years) of participants and their guests.  Registration is required by calling Jefferson Campus Care at 315-786-2357 by noon on May 14.

A reception for graduates and guests will be held in the Jules Center Commons immediately following the ceremony.  Additional commencement information for students and guests is available on and selecting “Commencement Information” under Quick Links or by calling 315-786-2234.