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Three from WNY among Champlain College graduates


BURLINGTON, VT -- Champlain College's 139th Commencement was held at Edmunds Field in Burlington, Vt on May 13. A total of 516 undergraduates received their associate and bachelor's degrees during the ceremony led by President Donald J. Laackman. The Today Show's Al Roker received an honorary degree and was the commencement speaker.

Local students who received their degrees included:
  • Craig Conway of Williamsville received a BS in International Business.
  • Michael DeFranco of Spencerport received a BS in Game Design.
  • Ryan Sobczak of Lancaster received a BS in Game Programming.
Champlain College President Donald J. Laackman lauded the students with a long list of achievements the Class of 2017 had accomplished during their years at Champlain."Your success in the face of change, combined with your radically pragmatic Champlain College education, positions you to successfully enter a changing world," he said.

In addition, an honorary Doctor of Humanities degrees was presented to Today Show weatherman and founder of Roker Media Labs Al Roker. Samantha Brehm '14 offered the alumni welcomed the graduates and their families during the morning ceremony. Julian Lopez '17, an international business and finance major in the Stiller School of Business, delivered the Senior address.

At the afternoon ceremony for adult online graduates and master's degree recipients, Cyber Security expert Renee Forney, CEO of Forney Group and Executive Managing Director of Global Cyber Security Management at Equinnoxys Inc, received an honorary degree Doctor of Science and Technology. Jane Brumley '17 an accounting major from Germany spoke on behalf of the Continuing Professional Studies graduates. Laura Fillbach '17 of Calais, Vt. received her MFA in Emergent Media and addressed the Master's degree candidates.

Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and more than 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain's distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review's The Best 381 Colleges: 2017 Edition. Champlain College is featured in the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" for 2017 as one of the "best and most interesting schools" in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain. Champlain was named one of the "Most Innovative Schools" in the North by the U.S. News and World Report's 2017 "America's Best Colleges and #91 in the overall list of "Best Regional Universities in the North.

 For more information, visit www.champlain.edu.