ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira College held its 165th graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 4, 2023, and 172 members of Elmira College class of 2023 and 30 graduate students walked across the stage.

This year’s commencement speaker was Kimberly L. Curtis, class of 1983 and President and Chief Executive Officer of Wealth Legacy Institute.

Curtis left the graduates with gems and words of inspiration saying “I can turn you into a millionaire by this one truth, Money is looking for you”

Tears smiles, and laughter can be heard as graduates awaited their turn to walk the stage and finally receive the degree they have worked so hard to earn.

“I feel so great today because this is my big goal in life, I’ll be the first generation in my family to graduate,” said Oscar Munoz, He earned a B.S. in Human Services And Sociology & Anthropology. English is a second language for Munoz and he said he had to overcome the challenge of learning how to speak another language, while playing sports and also working towards two degrees.

Munoz urges people to never give up because before you know it, you will reach the end.

As the celebration continued loud claps can be heard as a couple got engaged after the ceremony. Alejandra Nakamura earned a B.S. in Nursing and also received an engagement ring.

Gregory Vicks, Alejandra’s fiance said, ” I’ve been waiting for a while for this moment. And I thought this was the right time. Beautiful day. You know in front of our loved ones.”

“Each of you stands at the threshold leading to the rest of your life,” he said. “This College has a history and tradition of graduating women and men who make a difference. You may be thinking of your diploma as your ticket to the good life. What I invite you to also do is to view your degree as a vehicle for making the world a better place. Each of us can make a positive difference if we make the commitment to do so.” said Dr. Charles Lindsay, Elmira College President.