Governor David A. Paterson will deliver remarks at York College’s ( Thirty-Ninth Commencement Exercises at 9:00 a.m., Friday, May 29, 2009, at the Health and Physical Education Field, 160th Street between Liberty Avenue and South Road, Jamaica, New York. Governor Paterson will address the 836 graduates that range in age from 19 to 70. A number of other elected officials are expected to attend the event. This year marks the first time that a student from the Department of Occupational Therapy, which confers both a B.S./M.S. degree, has been named valedictorian. Gloria C. Velasco is the mother of two daughters and has one granddaughter.

Of the 836 graduates, 69.3% are females and 30.7% males. Conferred will be 286 B.A., 532 B.S. and 18 B.S. /M.S. degrees. The top five countries of birth are United States (27.3%), Jamaica (10.5%), Guyana (10.3%), Haiti (4.4%) and Trinidad and Tobago (4.4%). The top five native languages are English (57.4%), Spanish (11%), Bengali (3.2%), Creole (3.1%) and French (1.7%). The top five majors are Psychology (15%), Business Administration (14.4%), Accounting (10.9%), Social Work (7.4%) and Community Health Education (4.7%).

President Marcia V. Keizs will confer honorary degrees to Irving Burgie, popular music composer and Majora Carter, founder, Sustainable South Bronx. She will also bestow President’s Medals to Doris Houston, president, York College Community Commemorative Quilt Committee and Rev. Charles L. Norris, Sr., Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church.

“Governor Paterson has much wisdom to impart to the members of the Class of 2009,” said York College President Marcia V. Keizs. “He is sure to inspire them as they embark upon their new journey. We look forward to his visit with great anticipation.”