Entrepreneur and Philosophy Major Delivers Valedictory Address at Manhattan College’s Commencement

Perry Rizopoulos ’13 and Pelham, N.Y., resident, receives Donald J. Carty Valedictory Medal.

perry speakingManhattan College student Perry Rizopoulos, class of 2013 and a resident of Pelham, N.Y., was awarded the Donald J. Carty Valedictory Medal at the College’s Spring Honors Convocation on May 16. Rizopoulos addressed the crowd and his fellow classmates as the valedictorian on May 19 at the College’s 171st Commencement.

Rizopoulos graduated with a B.A. in philosophy and a minor in Spanish. He also was awarded the Medal for Excellence in the Liberal Arts at the Spring Honors, and the Philosophy Merit Scholarship last spring. During his time at Manhattan, Rizopoulos was a member of a variety of honor societies, including Epsilon Sigma Pi, the oldest College-wide honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, for the liberal arts and sciences, Phi Sigma Tau for philosophy, and Sigma Delta Pi for Spanish.

“I have very rarely encountered an undergraduate who matches Perry’s passion for leading the examined life,” said David Bollert, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy. “Philosophy, both in its theoretical and practical aspects, matters to Perry in a way that transcends the specific demands of the major and the general expectations of the academy as a whole; this zeal will undoubtedly permeate and drive his future graduate studies and eventual teaching career.”

Throughout college, Rizopoulos has remained committed to following the Lasallian mission and serving others. He founded the company Save Your City (SYC), which brings clothes, books and musical instruments to those in need. In addition, he volunteered at the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center and served on a Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience (L.O.V.E.) trip to San Francisco.

“I am incredibly appreciative and grateful to have the opportunity to be the recipient of the Carty Valedictory Medal,” Rizopoulos said. “My experience serving on a L.O.V.E. trip and working with my fellow classmates to bring clothing and educational supplies to our local community is a direct result of what I received at Manhattan.”

After graduation, Rizopoulos will pursue his master’s in comparative international education at Columbia University.

Rizopoulos and some 700 classmates were awarded undergraduate degrees in some 40 major fields of study from the College’s five schools in arts, business, education & health, engineering and science at Commencement this year. Students who completed their studies in September 2012, February 2013 and May 2013 participated in the ceremony.

Charles H. Thornton ’61, Ph.D., P.E., chairman of Charles H. Thornton & Company, LLC, a management and strategic consulting firm, delivered the keynote address at Commencement and received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering. Thornton, one of the world’s preeminent structural engineers and a former member of the Manhattan College Board of Trustees, is a founding principal and former co-chairman of the international consulting firm Thornton Tomasetti, a worldwide leader in engineering design.