Dominican University New York Celebrates the Class of 2024

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Dominican University New York celebrated the Class of of 2024 at the 70th Annual Commencement Exercises Held on Sunday, May 19, at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. Renowned Cuban-American composer Tania Leon delivered the Commencement Address. Leon is the Composer-in-Residence for the London Philharmonic Orchestra and was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in music for her orchestral work Stride.

Leon told the graduates, “Just as a symphony is made up of individual notes coming together in harmony, each one of you has contributed your unique talents, experiences, and perspectives to create the beautiful tapestry of this graduating class.”

Leon has deep roots in the New York City area as a founding member and the first Music Director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the founder of the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Community Concert Series. During the Commencement, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.

Others honored during the Commencement include:

  • Edward Doering – Philanthropist and businessman Edward Doering founded and owns Umbra Stages, Motorcyclepedia Museum, and V-Twin Manufacturing in Newburgh, New York. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service.
  • William Keenan – William Keenan is a former teacher, musician, and triathlete who was left paralyzed by a surfing accident.  He has spread his story and message of resilience and hope to thousands of people. Keenan was awarded the 2024 Veritas Medal. 
  • Melissa Lucido – Alumna Melissa Lucido ’95, is a dedicated elementary school teacher who was named Teacher of the Year in her New Jersey district in 2016.  At Dominican University, she was a member of the Aquin Players, and loved acting and dance. Since 2001, Lucido has been coming back to the University to serve as a co-director and choreographer for the University’s spring musical.  She was awarded the 2024 Badami Outstanding Alumna Award. 

A total of 363 students earned doctorate, master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees.  This was a particularly special graduation ceremony for the undergraduate students who graduated from high school at the height of the pandemic and were not able to have traditional celebrations.