York University held its winter commencement ceremony on Thursday, December 15. In a year of transitions, the 77 participants share the distinction as the first graduates from York University, including 55 students in the graduate program, 19 in the undergraduate program and 3 earning an associate’s degree. The ceremony was held in the Bartholomew Performing Arts Center following a reception for graduates and their families.

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Dr. Sam Smith, president of York University, noted, “It is significant that we conferred more graduate-level degrees during tonight's ceremony than undergraduate degrees. The increasing number of alumni who have earned a master's degree from York University is just one more indication that the scope of the institution is moving beyond a four-year school. While our residential, baccalaureate program is still the heart of who we are, it is only one facet of our identity. I am excited about the rapidly expanding reach of York University.”

York Mayor, Barry Redfern, delivered the commencement address. He urged graduates to be a positive influence in a world that is often negative. “Positivity is a choice. It is really easy to be negative but it’s hard to find anything good coming from it. Oh, sure we’re not perfect. We’re human. Even the most positive people complain or disagree, but they do it in a different way. They look for solutions, they suggest change and compromise, and they offer their most valuable asset...their time.” Redfern, a York native and market president-York of Midwest Bank, shared the story of his years immediately after college and lessons learned from a lifelong banking career in his hometown.

Graduates earning a master's degree included: Justin Wayne Annis, Lara L. Armstrong***, Charlotte Bagwell***, Paige Nichole Bailey***, Hannah Marie Bartl***, Carrie Lee Beasley***, Elizabeth Marie Boomer***, Morgan Chelsea Bothe***, Cynthia M. Brown***, Kaylea Buie***, Amanda M. Carpenter***, Breanna Nichole Collins***, Cassy Cuellar, DeVante’ Donald***, Sarah Dowell***, Denise Waldron Downer, Logan Dye, Mendy Esquivel, Carrie Faxon, Emma Caroline Fondren, Andrea Fort***, Jessica Nichole Giesecke***, Hunter Gomez, Kendall Nicole Gomez***, Emily Elizabeth Harvard***, Mason Aaron Hays***, Nakita Latoya Jackson***, Trina Kaler, Corry J. Karlen***, Amanda LaForte***, Sarah Christine Lasiter***, Vanessa Maleare***, Vanessa Maleare***, Dyan Marrs, Madlyn D. McCoy, Heidi Adams McReynolds***, Page Morris-Thompson, Robyn Lynn Murphy***, Tammy R. Neil , Leigh Ann Nichols***, Christy Marie Orphin, Becky J. Owings***, Madison Poen-Campbell***, Quynh Nhu Ta Price***, Christie Lee Roberts, Jennifer Rodriguez*** , Ashlee Rowen***, Michelle A. Schneider***, Suzanne LaNae Shideler***, Kyla Delane Sternlof, Lacy L. Stockton, Shelby Jean Turner, Allyson Wells***, Carmon Williams-Beadle , Nieka York Leyhew***, and Carmen Destiny Zavala.

Graduates earning a bachelor's degree included: Gabriel Cabral Calazans**, Daniel Bryan Castaneda*, Kelsey Jo Dacus, Lizeth A. Diaz, Cassidy Leigh Fisher*, Luka Ry Gelb, Diamond Sarai Harrington*, Alexander S. Hinrichs, Grady Robert Lohrenz , Kylie Marlin-Ambriz***, Cristofer Monje Sanhueza*, Caden Morris***, Heidi Odom, Gina Spight, Bryce Allen Tucker, Felipe Venegas Araneda, Alexander Villa-Hill, Alecsandar Wiese, and Danitsa Zavala.

Three individuals earned an associate’s degree: Olivia Dann, Peyton Johnson, and Ricardo D. Fernandez Jr.

​York University will hold its spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 29, 2023.

*Cum Laude – Grade Point Average of 3.40 or higher
**Magna Cum Laude – Grade Point Average of 3.60 or higher
***Summa Cum Laude – Grade Point Average of 3.85 or higher