Daemen College President Gary A. Olson will confer degrees to nearly 850 undergraduate and graduate candidates in the Class of 2015 at the college's 64th annual commencement, which, for the first time, will include two ceremonies scheduled for May 16 at Kleinhans Music Hall.
The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 2:30 p.m. John K. Castle, chairman and CEO of Castle Harlan Inc., a private merchant bank with more than 42,000 employees, will deliver the 2015 commencement address.
The graduate ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Dr. John J. Connolly, president and CEO of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., a New York City-based publisher of guides that assist consumers with finding the best health care, will give the address.
An honorary doctorate of humane letters will be presented to Castle at the undergraduate ceremony and to Connolly at the graduate ceremony.
Also at the graduate commencement, an honorary doctorate of humane letters will be presented to Peter F. Hunt, chairman and CEO of Hunt Real Estate Corp., which was founded in 1911 by his grandfather, Charles S. Hunt. Under his leadership, Hunt Real Estate's sales rose to $1.76 billion in 2013. Hunt served on the Daemen College board of trustees from 1986-2014 and was board chair from 1995-2003.
A posthumous degree will be awarded at the afternoon undergraduate ceremony to Jennifer "Jenny" McAlmont, who passed away last November. Her mother will be presented the bachelor's degree in health care studies. In honor of McAlmont, a lasting memorial space on campus has been established.
During the evening graduate commencement ceremony, a posthumous degree will be awarded to Kathleen Field, who passed away in February. Her husband will accept the master's degree in executive leadership and change (nursing) on behalf of the family.
Top awards to be presented to undergraduates will include:
•The President's Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who has exhibited dedication, care and concern for fellow students.
•The Alumni Senior Award, which recognizes an undergraduate student who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the larger community.
•The Charles Lumsden Award, the most prestigious academic award, which is presented to the student with the highest grade-point average throughout his or her undergraduate years.