GCC’s 50th Commencement in the New Call Arena

More than 925 Degrees and Certificates to be Conferred

Batavia, New York - Like a crescendo of a year-long concerto, Genesee Community College is fine-tuning all the logistics of its 50th Commencement Ceremony scheduled Sunday, May 20, 2018 in the new Richard C. Call Arena (RCCA), one of the last events of its multi-faceted 50th Anniversary celebration. More than 200 students are anticipated to walk across the stage after hearing Dr. Kristina M. Johnson, the new Chancellor of the State University of New York give the keynote address.

In addition to this being the College’s 50th Commencement celebrated in a new facility, other unique aspects of this year’s event are the 44 international students that will be graduating this year; 11 of those are from the island nation of Curacao. GCC is also delighted that ten students from area high schools will be completing their GCC degree requirements concurrently with their high school diplomas. These ten graduates participated in the inaugural cohort of the College’s STEM Program with the Accelerated College Enrollment (ACE) Office which started back in 2012 when the students were in seventh grade. Several other special opportunities are also going to be part of the event.

“Overall, this is a very exciting Commencement Ceremony for the College. So many wonderful opportunities are coming to fruition and all in the name and spirit of student success,” Dr. James M. Sunser, president of GCC said. “This ceremony will be one to remember.”   

The Commencement ceremony rehearsal will be held on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 10 a.m. in the RCCA to prepare soon-to-be graduates for the procession. Prior to the rehearsal, representatives from Carlson’s Studio will be set up in Room H103 of the Call Arena to take individual graduation photographs. Graduates should be in cap and gown, and have payment for their photo package. Graduates are encouraged to contact Carlson’s Studio in advance at (585) 786-2871 or via email at carlsons@rochester.rr.com to inquire about photo packages and pricing. Families can also pre-order flowers and gifts for their graduate through this website https://www.thecommencementgroup.com/Genesee/.

Each GCC graduate received five tickets for guests to attend the ceremony inside the RCCA Fieldhouse as part of their commencement package. There are no additional tickets available. On Commencement Sunday, guests with tickets can enter the Fieldhouse starting at 12 p.m. for general admission seating. All guests, regardless of age will require a ticket to enter the Fieldhouse.

Additional seating for guests without tickets is available on a first come, first served basis in the Stuart Steiner Theatre where the ceremony will be broadcast on the Theatre screen. The doors of the Theatre will also open at 12 p.m. For distant family and friends scattered around the world and unable to enjoy the event in Batavia, New York, the entire Commencement Ceremony will be live-streamed with easy access from GCC’s website or at this web address: https://www.genesee.edu/home/event-streaming/.

Accessible seating accommodations are available in both the RCCA Fieldhouse for ticketed guests and non-ticketed guests in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. For details, please contact GCC’s Office of Student Activities (585) 343-0055 ext.6261 or via email at sa@genesee.edu before Friday, May 18, 2018 to make arrangements.

GCC’s Child Care Center will be open for all graduates and guests for children from six weeks to five years of age to allow family and friends to focus on the ceremony. However, guests wishing to bring children to the commencement are required to have a ticket for each child regardless of age. To sign up for FREE child care services, please contact Student Activities or call (585) 343-0055 ext.6261 before Friday, May 18, 2018. The Child Care Center will open at 12 p.m. on Commencement Day.

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

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Editor’s Note:

For a 2018 GCC commencement graphic go to:


Pre-Commencement Media Hour: Sunday, May 20, 2018 from 12 – 12:45 p.m. in room H201, on the second floor of the Call Arena. This is exclusive media event showcases a few exceptional graduates from the Class of 2018.

Please note: Members of the media will be provided a Media Pass and should contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland in advance at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.