Gov. Paterson tells grads to persevere through hardships - 2011-05-15
55th Governor of New York State speaks at Paul Smith’s College commencement
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PAUL SMITHS – Gov. David A. Paterson urged graduates of Paul Smith’s College to fight through obstacles and hold their lessons dear as they move on.
“It really is the art of not forgetting where you came from and being willing to give back,” said Paterson, who spoke before hundreds of graduates, their families and others at the college’s 64th commencement exercises Sunday.
The event, which honored the 245 members of the Class of 2011, was held beneath a tent on the college’s campus beside the shores of Lower St. Regis Lake.
Paterson acknowledged that a sluggish economy and high unemployment means today’s graduates will likely face hardships graduates from other years did not. “You have your life completely in front of you,” Paterson said. “Unfortunately, right now it is a difficult life.”
“Don’t be deterred by setbacks,” exhorted Paterson, who called on students to embrace their individuality and become engaged in whatever may call them.
Paterson was the 55th governor of New York State and served from 2008-2010. He was first elected to public office in 1985, when, at the age of 31, he became a New York State Senator representing Harlem. He was the youngest senator in Albany at the time and ultimately became Senate minority leader. In 2007, he was elected lieutenant governor, and a year later became New York’s first black governor.
Ashley Comeau of Kingston, Mass., was the student speaker at the ceremony.
About Paul Smith’s College
At Paul Smith’s College, it’s about the experience. Our programs, in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences, draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere.