Graduation Celebrates Daemen Class of 2014

Top awards presented to graduating seniors

May 27, 2014

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Paula Witherell
Director of Institutional Communication
Daemen College
(716) 839-8472

AMHERST, .N.Y. -- It was a full house inside Kleinhans Music Hall at Daemen College’s 63rd commencement ceremony held May 17 to celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2014.

“As a college-educated citizen, you have an obligation to employ the intellectual skills you have acquired, and to do so not just in the workplace, but in your daily life,” President Gary A. Olson told Daemen’s newest graduates. “You are members of a very special college, and I feel confident that no matter what challenges you experience in your life, you will continue to meet those challenges with wisdom and integrity.”

The crowd of family, friends, faculty, staff, and other guests turned out to join in honoring Daemen students receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees. Addressing the Class of 2014, commencement speaker John Catsimatidis, chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group and a self-made billionaire, spoke with graduates about some of what he’s learned in life since coming to the U.S. with his family from Greece.

“Treat everyone with kindness and respect and be reliable, forthright and honest – your word is your bond,” said Catsimatidis, who received an honorary doctorate of humane letters at commencement. “Never be afraid to fail because if you are, you will fail to succeed. And when you do fail or hit a bump in the road, don’t dwell on it, instead take it as a lesson learned and move on.”

Daemen’s commencement ceremony also included the presentation of top awards to:

  • Maverick Cummings of Farmington, who received the Mary Angela Canavan Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who has made significant contributions to the betterment of student life at the college. Cummings earned a bachelor’s degree in English.
  • Brittany Jensen of Penn Yan, who received the Alumni Senior Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the larger community. Jensen earned a bachelor’s degree in health care studies with a specialization in community health.
  • Hollie Kishel of Orchard Park, who received the President’s Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who has exhibited dedication, care and concern for their fellow students. Kishel earned a bachelor’s degree in health care studies with a specialization in community health.
  • Samantha Maiarana of East Amherst and Kenzie Reynen of Indianapolis, Ind., each received the Charles Lumsden Award, the most prestigious academic award, which is presented to the student(s) with the highest GPA throughout their undergraduate years. As Daemen students, they both achieved a 4.0 cumulative GPA. Maiarana earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a specialization in human resource management, and Reynen earned a bachelor’s degree in global and local sustainability with a specialization in sustainable agriculture education.

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