AU Press Releases

99 to receive master's degrees during downstate commencement

The Honorable Edolphus Towns

The Honorable Edolphus Towns

Alfred University will confer 99 master’s degrees on graduates who have completed their course work at the University’s downstate programs during commencement ceremonies to be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 18, in the rotunda of Kingsborough Community College.

Congressman Edolphus “Ed” Towns will deliver the commencement address and receive a J. Henry Smith Distinguished Public Service Award from Alfred University.

The award is presented to those who exemplify the ideals of public service above self-interest, just as the late J. Henry Smith, a former Alfred University trustee and chairman of the Equitable Life Assurance Co. gave up a lucrative private career to become Commissioner of Social Services for New York City.

Towns, who has devoted more than 30 years to public service, gave up a career in health care administration when he was elected deputy borough president in 1978. He ran for Congress in 1982 and began his 15th term in January. He represents New York’s 10th Congressional District, which includes East New York, Canarsie, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Cypress Hills, Clinton Hill, Mill Basin, Midwood, downtown Brooklyn, and Boreum Hill, as well as parts of Fort Greene and Williamsburg.

Presiding over the commencement ceremonies will be Alfred University President Charles M. Edmondson and Provost William Hall.

The degree candidates have completed their degrees by attending classes at Alfred University’s downstate campuses. Fifty-eight will receive Master of Science in Education as counselors, and 41 will receive Master of Science in Education degrees as literacy teachers.

This is the fourth cohort of students to complete their degrees through the Alfred University Downstate Programs, which began six years ago under the auspices of the NYC-based Center for Integrated Teacher Education. This year’s graduates will bring to 480 the number of those who have completed their master’s degrees by attending classes on weekends. Students also attend two-week summer sessions at the main campus in Alfred, NY.