Hudson Link/Nyack College hosts first commencement ceremony at Fishkill Correctional Facility
The unforgettable strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” ushered in the first Hudson Link/Nyack College commencement ceremony at Fishkill Correctional Facility. Thirteen men marched proudly through a room of family, friends, and supporters to receive their Bachelor of Science degrees in Organizational Management from Nyack College President Michael Scales.
Prior to the commencement, three graduates were released from prison. Acknowledging the determination and commitment required to complete their Bachelor’s degrees under adverse conditions and the impact that this accomplishment would have on the students, their families, and the prison population, the Department of Corrections granted permission for the men to attend the commencement and participate in the festivities with their fellow graduates.
Keynote speaker Glenn Martin, Vice President of Development at the Fortune Society, spoke about the choices that each of us makes and how the graduates’ choice to attend college opened the door to transformation and redemption. Brian Fischer, Commissioner for the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, spoke about responsibility – the responsibility our graduates to make the right choices going forward and their responsibility to help the students behind them to succeed – to “pay it forward.”
Students shared their riveting life stories with the audience throughout the evening. Their ability to persevere in the face of adversity and reach significant academic achievements moved everyone in the audience.