CUNY SPS Celebrates Fourth Commencement

The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) celebrated its fourth commencement ceremony on Tuesday, June 7, 2011 in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. This year, 357 SPS students graduated from SPS, 121 of them with bachelor’s degrees (68 in Communication and Culture, and 53 in Business). 74 students earned master’s degrees, led by the School’s first degrees in Business Management and Leadership (15) and in Labor Studies (15), which joined 24 in Applied Theatre and 20 in Disability Studies. The School also awarded 162 certificates, 91 of them advanced, in Business Communication, Disability Studies, Diversity in the Workplace, Education Foundations, Health Care Policy & Administration, Immigration Law, Labor Relations, Labor Studies, Management, Project Management, and Public Administration & Public Policy.

With Associate Dean Brian A. Peterson serving as the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, the graduation program included welcoming remarks from John Mogulescu, Senior University Dean of Academic Affairs and Dean of the School of Professional Studies, University Trustee Wellington Z. Chen, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Frank D. Sanchez, and William P. Kelly, President of the Graduate School and University Center.

Graduates were welcomed to the SPS Alumni Association by Toni Pennachia, SPS Alumna (’10, Business), and were represented at the podium by Bharat Gami, who received the M.S. in Business Management & Leadership during the ceremony and delivered an inspirational speech on behalf of his fellow graduates. Tim Connell (’11, Applied Theatre) and J’nelle Bobb-Semple (’11, Applied Theatre) performed a duet of Stephen Sondheim’s “Our Time” in honor of the graduating class.

Frances Fox Piven, Consortial Faculty of the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at SPS and Distinguished Professor at the Graduate School and University Center, delivered stirring remarks on behalf of the School’s faculty, congratulating the graduates on their accomplishments and encouraging them to continue to work to promote social justice.  Ami Dar, Founder and Executive Director of without Borders, delivered an emotionally uplifting Keynote Address that focused on the life lessons that have guided him through his career, and the importance of personally connecting with other people. Dr. Piven and Mr. Dar each praised the graduates for their perseverance, and, punctuated by enthusiastic applause and cheers from the audience of friends, family, staff and faculty, encouraged the graduates to remain passionate, and to continue fighting for their dreams and convictions.

Live updates of the ceremony were posted through the School’s Twitter account, and additional photos of the event can be found on the School’s Facebook and Flickr pages. A recording of the event will be made available in the coming days on the School’s YouTube channel.

Congratulations, CUNY SPS Class of 2011!


The CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) serves New York City’s dynamic marketplace by providing timely, innovative and high-quality programs of study designed to address new or unmet needs.  Drawing on CUNY’s nationally and internationally renowned faculty and practitioners, as well as industry and education partners, SPS offers a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs, including CUNY’s first fully online degree programs.

Press Contact:
Laura Jack