Utica College hosts 2019 Commencement Ceremonies

2019 UC Graduate Commencement Ceremony

70th commencement ceremonies for UC

More than 600 undergraduate students and more than 250 graduate students (masters and doctoral) were celebrated Saturday, May 11 with two separate ceremonies held in the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium to celebrate their accomplishments.

Linda Bramblett, director of North American transportation for International Paper, as be the undergraduate speaker. Bramblett earned her bachelor’s in liberal arts/pre-engineering from UC in 1989, and later earned a second bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech. Her career with International Paper has spanned 25 years, and she has held her current position since June 2018. She currently resides in Memphis with her husband, Les, and 11-year-old son Nick.

Justin Derlago, liberal studies major with a minor in English language, has been named valedictorian. Gianluca Baggetta, accounting major, has been named salutatorian. Both hail from Canada, and both are members of the men’s ice hockey team.

The undergraduate ceremony took place at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, while the graduate ceremony was held later that day at 6 p.m. with 626 undergraduate students eligible for commencement, while 370 applied for the graduate (masters and doctoral) ceremony.

The 2019 graduate commencement speaker was Joseph Martino, supervising gaming operations inspector for the New York State Gaming Commission at both the Point Place Casino in Bridgeport and the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango. Martino earned his bachelor’s degree in economic crime investigations with a minor in economics from Utica College in 2008, and his masters of business administration in economic crime and fraud management from UC in 2010. Martino was previously a criminal investigator for Washington State Office of Fraud and Accountability, as well as a state licensed private investigator in NY, NJ, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Washington from 2010 to 2014, and performed investigations related to disability and life insurance policies. Martino resides in Manlius with his boxer dog, Roxanne.

John Costello III was bestowed an honorary degree at the 2019 commencement. Costello retired in 2014 as the president, CEO, and co-founder of CNFA, a private, non-profit development organization in Washington, DC, that was founded to stimulate economic growth, enterprise, and development in the world’s emerging economies. A 1966 graduate of Utica College, Costello earned his degree in public relations. After graduating, he began his career in marketing for Eastman Kodak and for Phillip A. Hunt Chemical Corporation. Costello served on the UC Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2018 and received an Alumnus of Achievement Award in 2007.

More information on the ceremonies and their logistics can be found at Utica College's Commencement webpage.

The undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies were streamed live via The Adirondack Bank Center's You Tube Page.

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