The event will be held at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY (see address below). The venue is approximately 45 minutes north of the Albany Campus and 2 1/2 hours south of the Vermont Campus.
Additional details about the ceremony will be posted to this page once they are available.
Saratoga Performing Arts Center
108 Avenue of the Pines
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Recap of 2017 Commencement Ceremony
Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences' 137th Commencement Exercises took place on May 13, 2017 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY.
- There were 294 members in the graduating class, spanning 13 academic programs.
- Dr. Howard A. Zucker - New York State Commissioner of Health (keynote speaker)
- Venkatesh Satram - Vermont Campus student speaker
- Chris Bartolillo - Albany Campus student speaker
- Honorary degree recipients (Doctor of Humane Letters) - SEE BELOW
- Dr. Howard A. Zucker, New York State Commissioner of Health
- Dr. Gus Birkhead, New York State Deputy Commissioner of Health (ret.); Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University at Albany School of Public Health; Part-time Medical Officer supporting the National Vaccine Program Office
- Mr. Michael Botticelli, Executive Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center and Distinguished Health Policy Scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Dr. Zucker oversees an agency that seeks to protect, improve, and promote the health of all New Yorkers. This work includes programs aimed at reducing chronic diseases, eliminating health disparities, and helping ensure access to high-quality, affordable health care for all citizens of the state.
His career in medicine began after earning his M.D. from George Washington University School of Medicine when he was just 22. He is board-certified in pediatrics, anesthesiology, pediatric cardiology, and pediatric critical care. Early in his career, he worked as a White House Fellow before becoming the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health.
The following text was read by Provost Tarun Patel prior to presenting Dr. Birkhead with his honorary degree:
For 27 years, you were one of the leading voices at the New York State Department of Health.
At different times throughout your career, you oversaw activities at the state health department’s AIDS Institute, Wadsworth Laboratories, Center for Community Health, Center for Environmental Health, Office of Public Health Practice, and the Health Emergency Preparedness Program.
You have helped advance the disciplines of medicine and public health by serving as the author or co-author of more than 100 academic publications and book chapters.
Despite retiring as Deputy Commissioner in 2015, you continue to contribute to the field, serving as Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University at Albany School of Public Health; Principal Investigator on a public health preparedness training grant at the School; and supporting the National Vaccine Program Office as a part-time Medical Officer.
For all that you have done to promote health and wellness in our state and throughout the country, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences of Union University is proud to confer upon you this honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
The following text was read by Provost Tarun Patel prior to presenting Mr. Botticelli with his honorary degree:
For more than two decades, you have been a tireless advocate for Americans affected by substance use disorders.
You have done this as Director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and as the Director of National Drug Control Policy under President Obama.
While working at the White House, you were part of an administration that advanced historic drug policy reforms and innovations in the areas of prevention, criminal justice, treatment, and recovery. In response to the national opioid epidemic, you helped coordinate actions across the Federal government to reduce prescription drug abuse, heroin use, and related overdoses.
And you continue to advance this important work today as the Executive Director of the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center and as a Distinguished Health Policy Scholar at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
For all that you have done to give voice and assistance to those suffering from substance use disorders, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences of Union University is proud to confer upon you this honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.