JCC Alumna Karen L. Belcher to Deliver Keynote at Spring Commencement
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JCC Alumna Karen L. Belcher to Deliver Keynote at Spring Commencement

Published: May 13, 2024

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Karen Belcher, Class of 1992, to Deliver Keynote at College's 60th Commencement Ceremony

Jefferson Community College (JCC) will hold its 60th Commencement Ceremony for December 2023, May 2024 and August 2024 candidates for graduation on Friday, May 17, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. Karen L. Belcher (right), Class of 1992, will deliver the keynote address.

Belcher, Mexico, is the Executive Director of the Food Bank of Central New York (CNY). She first joined the Food Bank of CNY in 2001 as controller, becoming the director of finance/CFO five years later, followed by appointment to Chief Operating Officer in 2014 before taking the reins as executive director in 2020. During her 23-year tenure, the agency has grown from 27 staff members and 3 major programs to 75 staff members and 8 major programs that help address food insecurity across 11 counties, including Jefferson. During the COVID pandemic, the Food Bank of CNY and the College’s food pantry partnered to hold a Nourish NY drive-up food distribution event on campus that served more than 1,000 families. 

Belcher is also a licensed New York State (NYS) Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants as well as the NYS Society of Certified Public Accountants. She serves on the Board of Directors for Feeding New York State and is treasurer of the Finance Committee, treasurer of the North East Region of Food Banks, and a member of the Human Services Leadership Council of CNY, currently serving as co-chair of the Advocacy Committee. 

In 2023, Belcher was appointed to the MICRON Community Engagement Committee for Central New York by Governor Hochul and has served on this committee for the past 12 months. She has been recognized for her work with the Transformational Leader Award from the Central New York Business Journal in 2016, and as a finalist in 2012 for the Financial Executive of the Year Award from the Business Journal News Network. 

In addition to holding an associate degree in accounting from Jefferson, Belcher holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and master’s degree in higher education, both from SUNY Polytechnic Institute. 

The student commencement speaker is Mason L.M. Archer of Carthage. Archer is graduating with an associate in arts (A.A.) degree in humanities and social sciences. He holds a 4.0 grade point average and has received President’s List honors. Additionally, Archer is named the 2024 Outstanding Liberal Arts Student. After graduating from Jefferson, he plans to transfer to SUNY Potsdam in the fall to pursue a bachelor’s degree in teaching. 

The ceremony will take place in the McVean Student Center Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. and will be video-streamed on the College’s website beginning at 6:45 p.m. Approximately 344 students are eligible to graduate from Jefferson upon successful completion of degree requirements. Participating in Jefferson’s commencement exercise are seven candidates for graduation from Jefferson Higher Education Center (JHEC) partner SUNY Potsdam; candidates for graduation will receive their diplomas from SUNY Potsdam. 

Tickets are required for admission to the McVean Student Center Gymnasium. Overflow seating for those without a ticket is available in Sturtz Theater, McVean Student Center. Parking is available in Lot D. Gymnasium doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

A reception for graduates and guests will be held in the Jules Center Commons immediately following the ceremony. For more information, call 315-786-2234. 



Story by:

Pamela Dixon

Additional Information:

Public Relations Department, Jefferson Community College, (315) 786-2392, Email Public Relations

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