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JCC Commencement to be held on May 20; Congressman Bill Owens to Deliver Keynote Address

Jefferson Community College will hold its 47th annual commencement ceremony on Friday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the McVean Student Center Gymnasium.  The commencement exercises will be video-streamed through the College’s website,, beginning at 7:15 p.m. A reception for graduates and guests will be held in the Jules Center Commons immediately following the ceremony.

The College is privileged that Congressman William L. Owens, representing New York’s 23rd District, will give the keynote address at the commencement exercises.

Congressman Bill Owens began his first term in the U.S. House of Representatives in November of 2009.  He graduated summa cum laude from Manhattan College with a degree in business administration with a major in economics and earned his juris doctor from Fordham University Law School in New York City. Bill joined the U.S. Air Force after graduation from law school and served as a Captain at several bases finishing his tour at Plattsburgh Air Force Base.   After completing his service in the military, he established his law practice and was the managing partner of Stafford Owens for 25 years, concentrating his practice in the areas of business and tax law.   Bill began to work in the 1980s with his community to foster economic development and was part of the team that helped redevelop Plattsburgh Air Force Base after it closed. He also taught business classes as an adjunct instructor at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.  Now, as a member of Congress, Bill is working to continue those efforts and help communities build a successful plan for economic development.  Congressman Owens is a member of the Armed Services Committee, the Agriculture Committee, and the House Committee on Small Business, along with the Congressional Northern Border Caucus, which he co-chairs, and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus.     Bill and his wife Jane are parents of three grown children and reside in Plattsburgh.

It is anticipated that more than 600 graduates in the class of 2011 will be awarded degrees or certificates and student participation in the ceremony is expected to increase in this celebratory year of Jefferson’s 50th anniversary.   Tickets are required for admission to the gymnasium and each student who is participating in the ceremony has received up to four tickets for guest seating in the bleachers.  Guest entrance doors, adjacent to Parking Lot D, will open at 6:30 p.m. and handicapped and special needs guests may disembark at this entrance. The ceremony will be simulcast in the air-conditioned Sturtz Theater and tickets are not required for entrance to the theater.

Free childcare is available during the commencement ceremony and reception for children (ages 18 months to 12 years) of participants and their guests.  Registration is required by calling Jefferson Campus Care at 315-786-2357 by noon on May 18.

Additional commencement information for students and guests is available online or by calling Karen Freeman at 315-786-2234.