Hudson Link Awards its 500th College Degree

OSSINING – On Wednesday, June 7th Hudson Link celebrated the accomplishments of Sing Sing’s Class of 2017 along with two major program milestones: not only was the class of 36 graduates the largest in our program’s history, but we also awarded the 500th Hudson Link degree!

There to celebrate alongside our graduates and their families were keynote speaker Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education; singer, actor, social activist and longtime Hudson Link supporter Harry Belafonte; Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Usher; and Pulitzer-winning author and political commentator George Will.

In a moving keynote address Dr. Reed reminded the graduates of the accomplishments of the great Nelson Mandela, who himself pursued a correspondence degree while serving what he was told would be the rest of his natural life in prison.

(Left to right) Keynote speaker Dr. Kim Hunter Reed with Sing Sing Superintendent Michal Capra, Usher, Harry Belafonte, and Hudson Link Executive Director Sean Pica pose for a photo.

Valedictorian and class speaker Sequan Prude further inspired those in attendance, telling his classmates – 60% of whom were graduating with honors – that “We are better than we were, but not the best that we can be.”

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as President Hall conferred the degrees along with Mercy College Provost Dr. Jose Herrera. For one glorious day our students weren’t in prison, but at their college graduation.

“The depression and the lack of hope that settles in after doing time could leave you to feel as though there is no end, there is no positive restart,” Usher told RNN news cameras after the ceremony. “But that’s not true if you look at these men. Having this education under their belt definitely moves them in a positive direction, but also gives them something to stand on.”

Join in celebrating Sing Sing’s 2017 graduates by watching recorded coverage of the event at the following link:

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