Alumni, Academics

They finally got to walk across the stage.

Siena held its long-delayed, in-person Commencement ceremony on November 14 for the Class of 2020 (watch Saints Go Marching, above), which sacrificed the last weeks of their senior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 300 graduates attended the event held at the Times Union Center in Albany. 

The class was also feted with a champagne brunch and a Baccalaureate Mass, both held in the SSU. The events coincided with the College’s first-ever Homecoming Weekend.

“We made the commitment to this special class that Siena would host a full, in-person graduation for them once the track of the pandemic allowed,” said Margaret E. Madden, Ph.D., senior vice president and provost of the College, who was interim president during the class’ senior year. “We were very pleased to welcome many members of the class, and their family and friends, to this overdue and much deserved ceremony. We hope that it was truly celebratory and provided a positive sense of closure to their academic journey at Siena.” 

Former Siena standout athlete, Army veteran and Procter & Gamble sales leader John P. Glynn ’70 was the featured speaker. Biology graduate John Dinelli ’20, currently a second-year student at Albany Medical College, gave the student address on behalf of the graduates. 

Degrees for the Class of 2020 were officially conferred in a virtual ceremony on May 17, 2020. College administrators and friars gathered on campus in a socially distanced manner to bestow 757 bachelor’s degrees and 61 master’s degrees via a brief ceremony live streamed via Facebook. 

Beyond Homecoming festivities for alumni (and the men's basketball game, below), there were on-campus events for students including a Homecoming dance and carnival. Nearly 1,000 students attended the dance, which featured a light show, finger foods, and photo booths. On Saturday, the carnival included an inflatable corn maze, mechanical pumpkin, inflatable pub (serving root beer and cider), and several food trucks. 

"I really enjoyed the Homecoming dance! It felt like the Siena community came together to electrify the dance floor with everyone's dance moves and energy. Everyone looked great in their semi-formal attire and I really felt a high school vibe. This definitely was the highlight of the weekend."

Jonathan Gonzalez '23

"I would have to say Homecoming Weekend was a huge success. I sat on the committee to plan Homecoming and also volunteered my time working the events throughout the weekend, and I would say the dance was our biggest success. We expected to get a decent student turnout, but nothing near the around 980 students we got! We heard nothing but positive comments about the event all night, and I heard from a lot of students that they really enjoyed the event and would want it again. This weekend wouldn't have been a success without the amount of time and planning put in by Maggie Cross and Emily Rocha as well as everyone else in the SALD office, so they definitely deserve the thanks for this great weekend for all past and current students."

Blake Rivers '23