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Villa Maria College Celebrates 54th Commencement: Harkness, Principato, Rust and Say Yes to Education Buffalo to Receive Awards

Villa Maria College will celebrate its 54th commencement on Sunday, May 20, 2018. The ceremony, which begins at 1 p.m. and takes place in the auditorium, will award degrees to 115 students.

A total of 68 students will receive bachelor degrees: 9 bachelors of arts, 7 bachelors of science, 2 bachelors of business administration, 50 bachelors of fine arts. Forty-seven students will receive associate degrees: 7 associates in arts, and 40 associates in applied science. Graduates studied business, psychology, photography, graphic design, music and more.

Awards to be presented include the Blessed Mary Angela Student Award, which is given to the most outstanding graduate of Villa Maria College, the Martin Wanamaker Spirit Award, which is given to a student who promotes spirit on campus, and the Founder’s Award, which is given to a person or organization who has made an outstanding contribution to society and to Villa Maria College.

The recipient of the 2018 Blessed Mary Angela Student Award is Romona Harkness, a psychology major with a 3.5 grade point average. The Martin Wanamaker Spirit Award will be presented to Joseph Principato, a music industry major with a 3.9 grade point average and an army veteran. This year, the Founder’s Award will be given to Say Yes to Education Buffalo; it will be accepted by David Rust, the organization’s executive director, and the speaker at the Commencement ceremony.

Say Yes Buffalo is a landmark partnership that brings together the Buffalo Public School District, parents, the Buffalo Teachers Federation, the Buffalo Association of Administrators and Supervisors, higher education, the City of Buffalo, Erie County, Say Yes to Education, Inc., and a diverse group of Buffalo area corporate, non-profit, and philanthropic organizations to organize people, time, money and resources to provide holistic, year-round support to Buffalo Public School District students throughout their K-12 years and beyond. Say Yes Buffalo and its partners believe every student can graduate high school and college when given the proper supports, resources and opportunities.