More than 800 Siena grads in business, science and liberal arts picked up their diplomas and celebrated with classmates at Commencement on May 12 in the Times Union Center.

Emma McDonald ’19, president of the Class of 2019, asked her fellow graduates who were about to take such an important step into the future to recall the start of their freshman year.

"Think back to orientation, when a quad full of strangers soon became best friends,” she said. “Some of these best friends will become our future apartment roommates, lifetime partners, bridesmaids, groomsmen and maybe even the godparents of our children because in these four years, we realized that it is not where you are that matters but who you are with. Every challenge we have faced, we have faced together."

Paul Commisso ’19 delivered a heartfelt and humorous senior address.

“Siena professors go the extra mile every day to help their students, friars lend their stoic advice to all who seek it, and Limmy will slip you an extra nugget on chicken nugget Friday,” he said. “Find me another college with this level of close-knit friendships and I will gladly take on another student loan to go there for another four years, but I do not think that exists.”

Kate Gutmann ’90, chief sales and solutions officer for UPS, delivered the Commencement address and received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from her alma mater.

She encouraged the graduates to take out into the world the key values stressed at Siena – integrity, diversity, inclusion, and above all, faith, family and friends.

“Forge your path and create your legacy,” she told Siena’s newest alumni.

As a special surprise, a uniformed UPS delivery person brought her framed diploma on stage. Siena President Br. Ed Coughlin signed for the package.


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