Saturday, May 12, 2018


Commencement - Saturday, May 12
The 138th Commencement ceremony of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will take place on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm.

The event will be held at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (108 Avenue of the Pines; Saratoga Springs, NY 12866). The venue is approximately 45 minutes north of the Albany Campus and 2 1/2 hours south of the Vermont Campus.

Below is a timeline of the day:

11:30 am - Venue Opens
1:00 pm - Ceremony Begins
3:30 pm - Estimated End Time of Ceremony

A reception for students, families, and friends will be held immediately following the graduation ceremony on the SPAC grounds.
Jason Helgerson
Speaker - Jason Helgerson
The Commencement speaker is New York State Medicaid Director Jason Helgerson. In addition to serving as the event speaker, he will also receive an honorary degree from the College.

Mr. Helgerson has overseen the state’s $68-billion-a-year Medicaid program since 2011 (he will step down from his position on April 6). His innovative approaches to reshaping the Medicaid program and his advocacy for a value-based approach to health care led Governing magazine to declare, “At a time when out-of-control health-care costs demand bold ideas and new thinking, Helgerson is leading the way.”

One of the best examples of his “bold ideas and new thinking” is the implementation of the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) program – an ambitious initiative that aims to reduce avoidable hospitalizations by 25 percent. Although the rollout of the DSRIP program is only halfway complete, it has already reduced avoidable hospital admissions by 15 percent, putting it on pace to exceed its goal.

Mr. Helgerson previously served as Wisconsin’s Medicaid Director where he administered the state’s nationally recognized BadgerCare Plus program for children and families.
Joe Gambino - Hometown Health Centers CEO
Honorary Degree Recipient - Joe Gambino

As CEO of Hometown Health Centers since 2009, Joe Gambino oversees one of the Capital Region’s top-rated medical and dental facilities. Hometown Health provides care to 20,000 children and adults at four health center sites in Schenectady and Amsterdam, including two school-based health centers.

With pharmacy services so connected to healthcare, Mr. Gambino proudly partnered with ACPHS President Greg Dewey and his team to bring College Hometown Pharmacy to Hometown Health Centers. The pharmacy, which successfully launched in 2016, is one of two student-operated pharmacies managed by the college. It is centrally located at Hometown’s main facility in Schenectady and services a large and growing medically underserved population.

What you should know about Commencement

Congratulations graduates and families! The 138th Commencement of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences will take place on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in Saratoga Springs, New York. This is the third year that both our New York and Vermont campuses will be celebrating graduation together.

If you have any questions regarding Commencement, please contact Patty Tompkins, Events Manager, at 518.694.7123 or

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about Commencement:

As a student, how do I learn about my Commencement status?

If you have any questions about your academic status, please e-mail ACPHS Registrar Jeff Dufour.

What should graduates wear for the ceremony?

Graduates are expected to dress professionally and be in full regalia for Commencement.

What time should graduates and guests arrive?

Graduates are expected to arrive at SPAC by 11:30 a.m. Guests will also be able to enter SPAC at 11:30 a.m. The ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m.

Where do graduates, faculty, and staff report when they arrive at the venue?

Graduates should report in full regalia to the Large Rehearsal Room. Administration, faculty, and staff should report in full regalia to the Small Rehearsal Room. Commencement staff will be available in both locations to provide assistance.

How many tickets does each student receive?

There are no tickets distributed for the event as there is ample seating for everyone. Seating is General Admission (first come, first-served).

How long is the ceremony?

Commencement will run approximately 2.5 hours.

What accommodations are available for people with physical impairments?

Saratoga Performing Arts Center meets federal accessibility guidelines for individuals with disabilities. Please email requests and questions about accommodations to Patty Tompkins, ACPHS Events Manager, or call her at (518) 694-7123.

NOTE: A courtesy cart is available for those who are mobility impaired and have requested special services. If using the courtesy cart service, please arrive no later than 12:30 p.m. Due to the number of people requiring transportation, the only riders should be those who require the service.

Carts are not allowed in the parking lots. Riders will be picked up at the edges of lots. If you have a guest that needs special accommodations due to mobility issues, please email Patty Tompkins to make arrangements. Please know the gate through which you entered: Route 50 (main gate) or Patrons Lot/Hall of Springs. Please be patient as it takes time to transport all of the guests.

I've never been to SPAC. How should I prepare?

SPAC is an amphitheater, so while seats are covered by a roof, it is an outdoor venue. Inclement weather should be considered.

Will there be food available?

Concession stands will be open for purchase of snacks and drinks.

Will I be able to purchase flowers?

The Phi Delta Chi pharmacy fraternity will sell flower bouquets of varying sizes for gift purchases. Proceeds from the flower sales will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

How do I order regalia (cap and gown) and graduate announcements?

An e-mail with detailed instructions has been sent to graduates directly from the Bookstore. Order deadline is March 24, 2018.

Will I be able to obtain Commencement photographs?

A professional photographer will be on hand during Commencement. A link to photos will be posted to this page once they are available for viewing.

Is there a reception following the ceremony?

A reception will take place on the SPAC grounds immediately following the ceremony. All graduates and their guests are invited to attend.

How do I stay connected with the school and my classmates after graduation?

ACPHS is proud to welcome the Class of 2018 into its alumni community. If you have any questions regarding alumni activities, benefits, events, opportunities, and ways to stay connected and support ACPHS, please email


Members of the Class of 2018
Bachelor's Graduates
Master's Graduates
Pharm.D. Graduates