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May 5, 2004


TORCHLIGHT CEREMONY FEATURES ALUMNA SPEAKER, SING

    OSWEGO -- Two traditions -- one dating back to 1936 and the other a new revival of an old favorite -- will combine Friday, May 14, when the college celebrates the annual Commencement Eve.

    The Torchlight Ceremony, which welcomes graduating seniors into the Oswego Alumni Association by passing the torch of learning, is one of the longest standing traditions at Oswego and is the centerpiece of Commencement Eve celebrations.

    This year, organizers of the event have revived the old tradition of the Senior Sing -- where the graduating class, led by the State Singers, will sing favorite songs from their years at Oswego.  
Seniors voted for their favorites on a Web site. A rehearsal will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Room 41 of Tyler Hall. The Senior Sing will be at 8:30 p.m. outside Hewitt Union, with the Torchlight Ceremony to follow at 9 p.m.

    The emcee for the Torchlight Ceremony will be Tomasina Boyd Boone, a 1993 graduate of Oswego and associate publisher of Today's Black Woman and Hype Hair Magazine.

    Boone began her career at Johnson Publishing, which produces one of the oldest African-American publications, Jet magazine, and earlier at The Nation, a 100-year-old liberal magazine, as assistant advertising manager. A native of Harlem, Boone received her master's in graphic communication from New York University. She has been involved in her community as a volunteer teaching English, working at a women's homeless shelter and mentoring teen-age girls.

    She has also been involved at her alma mater as a volunteer with the Return to Oz II reunion for alumni of color and as a member of the Oswego Alumni Association board of directors. She is one of the founders of the Reach Scholarship to support students of color.

    Commencement Eve activities will include dinner in the ballroom for graduating seniors and their guests. Reservations are required for the dinner. All other Commencement Eve activities will be free and open to faculty, staff, seniors, their friends and their families.

    Alumni who wish to participate in the Torchlight Ceremony as members of the inner circle may call 312-2258 to volunteer.

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