SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson to Speak at Genesee Community College’s 50th Commencement

Richard C. Call Arena to Host Event for the First Time

Batavia, New York - Officials at Genesee Community College are delighted to announce the College’s 50th graduating class will hear from the new State University of New York (SUNY) Chancellor, Dr. Kristina M. Johnson as the keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at 1 p.m. Dr. Johnson is the fourth SUNY Chancellor to grace the College’s commencement stage with Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher appearing in 2010, John R. Ryan in 2007 and Robert King in 2003.

GCC’s first-ever graduating class received their diplomas in 1969 inside the auditorium of the New York State School for Blind. Through the years, GCC has held commencement ceremonies in several other locations to accommodate the growing number of graduates. Batavia High School, the William W. Stuart Forum in the Batavia Campus and finally the Anthony T. Zambito Gymnasium have all hosted GCC’s commencement programs. This year, GCC’s Class of 2018, the College’s 50th Class of graduates, will celebrate their success in the new and permanent venue, the Richard C. Call Arena.

“This year’s Commencement Ceremony is going to be a special day for so many reasons. First and foremost, graduation is a sacred event celebrating the personal accomplishments of hundreds of students—each with his or her individual story and journey. It is, without question, the best day of the year for the whole College community,” Dr. James M. Sunser, President of GCC said. “Secondly, we are honored to welcome Chancellor Johnson to our campus and look forward to hearing her distinguished remarks. Finally, this event brings our 50th Anniversary celebration to a grand crescendo, and what better place than in our new Call Arena.”

SUNY Chancellor, Dr. Kristina M. Johnson joined The State University of New York as its 13th Chancellor just six months ago in September 2017. With 64 college and university campuses located across New York State, SUNY is the nation’s largest comprehensive system of public higher education. It serves more than 1.3 million students annually, employs more than 90,000 faculty and staff, and connects more than three million alumni around the world.

Prior to joining SUNY, Dr. Johnson was co-founder and CEO of Cube Hydro Partners, LLC, and had served as undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Energy. Dr. Johnson served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Johns Hopkins University from 2007 to 2009 with direct oversight of the academic operations and budget of nine schools that included leading interdisciplinary programs, academic centers and institutes. As Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University from 1999 to 2007, Dr. Johnson created intensive student/faculty research partnerships and led a strategic planning process as part of Duke’s "Building on Excellence" university plan. Among Dr. Johnson’s many academic awards are:

  • 40 years of Title IX - 40 Women Who Have Made an Impact by ESPNW (2012)
  • Woman of Vision Award for Leadership by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology (2010)
  • Milton Steward Award from the Small Business Technology Council (2010)
  • John Fritz Medal (2008)
  • Society of Women Engineers Lifetime Achievement Award (2004)
  • Dennis Gabor Prize for creativity and innovation in modern optics (1993)
  • Fulbright Faculty Scholar (1991)
  • National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator (1985)

In addition, Dr. Johnson was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2015) and the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame (2003), holds 118 U.S. and international patents, has published 149 referenced papers and proceedings and has received honorary degrees from the University of Alabama at Huntsville, Tufts University, McGill University, Trinity College, Dublin and the National University of Ireland, Galway.

Dr. Johnson received her B.S. with distinction, M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. After a NATO post-doctoral fellowship at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, she joined the University of Colorado-Boulder’s faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor and, later, full professor.

Additional commencement information can be found at For families interested in using GCC’s Child Care Center for children five years old and younger, the reservation deadline is Friday, May 4, 2018.

For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email:

# # #

Editor’s Note:

A photograph of GCC’s first graduating class is available at:

A photograph of SUNY Chancellor Johnson is available at: