College Honors Alumnus at Spring Commencement

The College community gathered on May 19 to celebrate the accomplishments of nearly 300 students receiving master’s and bachelor’s degrees at the Spring Commencement.

See highlights from Saturday's Commencement ceremony:

Manhattan College gathered on May 19 to celebrate the accomplishments of nearly 300 students receiving master’s and bachelor’s degrees at the Spring Commencement.

“It’s definitely given me a confidence in myself knowing that I could enter the college environment at my age and accomplish what I set out to accomplish,” said Jackson Todd, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in organizational management. Todd is also a 19-year veteran detective with New York City’s Police Department.

The ceremony awarded master’s degrees from the schools of business, education and engineering; bachelor’s degrees from the school of continuing and professional studies (SCPS); and professional diplomas from the school of education. Students who completed their studies in September 2011, February 2012 and May 2012 participated in the ceremony.

Gregory A. Player, a 2012 graduate of the civil engineering master’s program and also a 2009 bachelor’s recipient, delivered the valedictory speech at the Spring Commencement.

“The diplomas and certifications bestowed today simply serve as a baseline to measure both our learning and the personal success that derives from it,” said Player to his fellow classmates.

He urged his fellow graduates to embrace the Lasallian heritage engrained at Manhattan College by using their own knowledge and achievements to serve others and better the world.

Similar to Player, the keynote speaker John Esposito ’69 said, “Coming from Manhattan with a Lasallian Catholic education you are prepared with the right values to join whatever team you choose and make an impact.”

Since graduating from Manhattan College in 1969, Esposito, former president and CEO of Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and Bacardi North America, has spent more than 40 years building a career as an innovative entrepreneur in the beverage industry. His professional business and personal experience offered a tremendous amount of insight to the graduates who are about to begin a new career or job.

“This observation comes from years of experience in interviewing and hiring people and recognizing the importance in hiring people who have the values the company needed,” Esposito added.

During the ceremony, Brennan O’Donnell, Ph.D., president of Manhattan College, also presented Esposito with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

At the conclusion of the diploma distribution, O’Donnell said to the class of 2012, “Manhattan has always been and continues to be a place where talented students are encouraged to dream and challenged to develop the skills to make those dreams a reality.”