Mount Saint Mary College’s virtual Commencement celebration recognizes more than 550 grads

May 16, 2020

Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. was proud to recognize more than 550 graduates at its virtual Commencement celebration on Saturday, May 16.

Of the graduates, 111 earned master’s degrees and 444 earned bachelor’s degrees. The graduating students hailed from 11 states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. 

After an invocation given by Fr. Gregoire Fluet, college chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, Dr. Jason N. Adsit, president of the college, congratulated the seniors on a job well done.

“Your achievements, your amazing work, should be celebrated,” said Dr. Adsit. “I am so proud of you, your families are so proud of you, and you’re going to go on to do amazing things…These are dark moments: Be the spark, make the change, and set the world on fire. I tip my cap to you, I celebrate you – congratulations.” 

Charles P. Frank, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Mount Saint Mary College, congratulated the grads on behalf of the entire board for their accomplishments. 

“To the entire graduating class of Mount Saint Mary College 2020, good luck, please stay safe, and know that you always have a family back here at the Mount,” Frank said. “May God bless each and every one of you.”

Frank commended the graduates’ families for all they have done to help their loved ones to succeed. Family is especially important to Frank, whose youngest daughter, Belle Frank of Walden, N.Y., is one of the Mount’s newest grads. She is the third member of the Frank family to graduate from the college. 

“I’d also like to thank all of the people who helped get you here today – your parents, guardians, grandparents, husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, significant others, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins – all the people who helped get you through the process of education at Mount Saint Mary College and supported you along the way,” said Frank. “We really owe a debt of gratitude to these people, and we thank them so very, very much.”


Dr. Jason N. Adsit, president of Mount Saint Mary College, congratulated seniors and their families during a virtual Commencement Celebration on Saturday, May 16. Dr. Adsit recently shaved his hair into a mohawk, helping to raise more than $24,000 in 24 hours for students in need. 


Michael J. Olivette, vice president for Academic Affairs, noted that the challenges of the last semester have helped to prepare the graduates in ways they could not have anticipated. 

“While I would have liked nothing more than to read your names as you walked across the stage to receive your diplomas, I’m happy nonetheless to be able to give you my virtual best wishes,” said Olivette. “You’ve worked very hard to get to this point…You should be extra proud of your resilience in dealing with a difficult situation. I do believe that out of adversity comes new strength and perspective. These last few weeks will not define your time at the Mount, but they will strengthen you in ways you might not have thought possible, and provide you with a perspective on life you may not have had before. So in that regard, your graduation is extra special.”

Alexander Perlak of West Hempstead, N.Y., Senior Class President, said that same tenacity that got the graduates through college will serve them well as they move on to the next chapters of their lives.

“Many of us started our academic journeys four years ago and we all knew it was going to be a unique experience because the Mount is such a special place,” he said. “We did it, not as we initially planned to, but we did do it…We are adaptable. We made the most of the changes this semester and are ready for what lies ahead.”

Perlak added, “Always remember, the Mount is your home away from home.”

In addition to honoring the graduates with this virtual celebration, the Mount is also planning to host a physical Commencement celebration in August, if conditions allow for it. 

Ranked a Top-Tier Regional University by U.S. News & World Report, Mount Saint Mary College offers strong career preparation in health professions, education, business, psychology, social services, and liberal arts.