Outgoing CCO President presides over her final graduation ceremony


Syracuse, NY – 2022 Onondaga Community College graduates honored their outgoing president by hoisting large cardboard cutouts of her face during her final graduation ceremony on Saturday.

Onondaga Community College Past President Dr. Casey Crabill presided over her final graduation ceremony at the SRC Arena and Events Center. More than 900 students were eligible to attend the ceremony, according to a press release from Onondaga Community College.

The ceremony began at 10 a.m. and featured many notable graduates. The OCC School of Health has graduated 99 students in in-demand programs including nursing, health information technology and surgical technology, OCC officials said.

One such graduate, Joe Doyle, was inspired to study health sciences by the medical professionals who cared for his mother as she battled lung cancer. He earned a 4.0 GPA and will transfer to SUNY Upstate Medical University’s radiation therapy program, OCC officials said.

Another graduate, Damon Gilstrap, won two merit awards. He overcame three brain tumors and a stroke. Until 2015 when he decided to go back to school, he only had a fifth grade education. Today, he is graduating with honors.

Kayla McKeon, America’s first lobbyist with Down syndrome, will finally earn her OCC degree after taking classes in her spare time for 12 years.

Crabill was honored alongside hundreds of distinguished graduates. The students presented her with a bouquet of roses as she left the stage during her 9th and final graduation ceremony.

Crabill has led the OCC since 2013 and officially retires on June 30. On July 1, Dr. Warren M. Hilton, a first-generation college graduate, will become the school’s 9th president.

Editor Anne Hayes covers breaking news, crime and public safety. Any advice, an idea for an article, a question or a comment? You can reach her at [email protected].

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