Thursday, May 25th, 2023

Dear Class of 2023,

You are well into your final year at SUNY Optometry, and it is time to begin your preparations for commencement!

The past few years have presented many challenges, and I would like to thank each of you for your resilience, flexibility, and dedication.

We look forward to coming together to celebrate all your achievements on your journey to becoming a SUNY Optometry graduate.

We have created this page as a resource to help you prepare for your final semester and easily find pertinent information about the events scheduled to celebrate your achievements.


Dr. Gui Albieri
Vice President for Student Affairs and Engagement

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Schedule of Events

Below is a schedule of events and activities leading up to your commencement ceremony on May 25th, 2023, at Gotham Hall (1356 Broadway, NYC).

Additional events will take place at the College as noted below.

Student Graduation Party – Tuesday, May 23rd
The graduating class has organized a party for the class, family, and friends to celebrate their graduation. Information about the class party will come from the class council.

Capstone Seminar – Tuesday, May 23rd, 3rd Floor Student Center
The Capstone program specifically for the graduating class is organized by the Offices of Alumni Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs and will highlight how to capitalize on your network and optometry school experience as you transition from student to professional. Information regarding Capstone will follow from Alumni Affairs. Cap and Gown and Commencement tickets will be distributed after Capstone.

Cap and Gown Distribution- Tuesday, May 23rd, 3rd Floor Student Center
Cap and gowns, commencement tickets, yearbooks gifts will be distributed immediately following Capstone.

Awards Ceremony – Thursday May 25th, 10:00am-11:00am Schwartz Theater
An Awards Ceremony to celebrate and recognize the outstanding achievements of members of the graduating class. Awardees, family members, and friends are strongly encouraged to attend.

Continental breakfast- Thursday, May 25th, 10:00am-11:50am 3rd Floor Student Center
Continental Breakfast will be hosted at SUNY Optometry for graduates, family, friends, and faculty.

Robing and line up for students – Thursday May 25th,12pm-12:15pm Gotham Hall
Students are to report to the Robing room at Gotham Hall for line up and instructions. Doors to the Ballroom will open for families to be seated by 12:30. Students will receive a maximum of 4 tickets each. (Seating is restricted to 4 per student due to space limitations.)

Commencement- Thursday May 25th,1:00pm-2:30pm Gotham Hall
The ceremony will begin at 1pm sharp and should last about 1 ½ hours. Live streaming will be available for those who cannot attend.

The Awards Ceremony and Commencement will be live streamed on the College’s Facebook page for remote attendance. The program starts automatically.

Visit the College’s Facebook page at just prior to the start of the events.

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All students participating in commencement are required to wear a cap, gown, and hood. SUNY optometry regalia consists of a black doctoral gown, OD hood and tam cap with tassel. Cap and gowns are placed as a group order through the Office of Student Affairs and will be distributed following the Capstone program.

All students marching at commencement must complete a commencement form to order regalia, diplomas, and update address information.

2023 Commencement Form
The commencement form must be submitted to Sarah Didier in Student Affairs is February 17th 2023.


Students are individually hooded on stage at commencement by the Academic Dean and a Faculty member.

You may request to be hooded on stage during commencement by a parent, spouse or sibling who is an O.D. licensed to practice in the U.S. You must submit the hooding form below if you meet the requirements.

The biography you provide about your hooder, will be read by Dr. Gui Albieri while you cross the stage to be hooded.

You will receive more instructions to share with your hooder once the Office of Student Affairs reviews your request.


Students with religious observance can request to be hooded by a faculty member of the same gender. Students with this request must also complete the commencement hooding form below.

2023 Commencement Hooding Form

Hooding form must be submitted to Sarah Didier in The Office of Student Affairs by April 21,2023.


To make the awards more honorable and special, we’d like to provide award recipients the opportunity to nominate a doctor to present your award(s) to you at the ceremony. The nomination form will become available in late March early April; and all recipients will be contacted by the Office of Student Affairs once it is available.

The deadline to submit the award ceremony form is April 21,2023.


Diplomas will be given to you during commencement exercise; please tell us if you cannot attend the ceremony. Diploma orders are placed by the Office of the Registrar. Note: If you have any outstanding grades or debts, we cannot certify you for licensure nor will you receive your diploma at graduation (a blank paper will be placed inside the folio instead of the actual diploma).

The name appearing on the diploma comes from the information provided by you, on the commencement form. The last name must match what is currently on student record. Name change requests for diploma printing are reviewed and approved by the College Registrar. Official Proof will be required for last names not on student record. Name change requests must be submitted before March 1st.

Chosen/Preferred Names: Before opting to print your Chosen Name on your Diploma, please note that professional licensing rules may require use of a legal first name in the licensing process. Therefore, use of a Chosen Name on a diploma may delay or complicate a certification or licensure process. In addition, some countries may require a diploma with a person’s legal name for various legal, immigration, or employment purposes.

Ordering duplicate diplomas: There will be an added cost for requesting duplicate diplomas. Please email and provide your name (must match name used when you attended SUNY Optometry), graduation year and date of birth. Once your record is matched, we will send a link to order your diploma. The order process is normally two-three weeks. Rushed orders will include an added shipping and handling fee.


The day after the commencement ceremony, you will receive a free Certified Electronic Diploma (CeDiploma) sent to your personal email (not

A CeDiploma is an official, secure, verifiable PDF version of your paper diploma that offers proof of education and is shareable with others, including credentialing agencies. It includes a unique 12-digit Certified Electronic Document Identifier (CeDiD) that allows for instant proof of your education.

To access CeDiploma you will need to create an account via our diploma printing company. The email will provide specific instructions on how to create an account and obtain your electronic diploma.

For further questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar. Email: Phone 212-938-5509



Please complete this form if you and your guests have a dietary restriction, and plan to attend the breakfast on the 3rd floor Student Center the morning of graduation.

Dietary Restriction form

Form must be submitted to Sarah Didier in Student Affairs by May 5th, 2023

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  • All course work and clinics must be completed prior to May 19th.
  • Incomplete or Unsatisfactory grades must be remediated prior to May 19th.
  • All debts to the Business Office or Library must be paid prior to May 13th.
  • Complete Post-Grad Exit Survey conducted by the Residency Program Dept. (an email will be sent in April from Ramola Poonai Residency coordinator)
  • All exit interviews (online) with Vito Cavallaro and/or Erin Angarola must be completed prior to May 19th.

*** See the Financial Aid exit interview section below


The Federal government requires that all students who received loans participate in an exit interview counseling session.

You must complete an exit interview with the Financial Aid office or the Bursar’s Office if you have received government loans (Stafford, PLUS, Perkins, HPSL) while attending SUNY Optometry.

Students who receive Perkins/ HPLS/ or Loans for disadvantaged students must meet with the Bursar Erin Angarola to complete this exit interview.

The Bursar’s office will send you separate instructions to complete these exit interviews in the Spring

Your cap and gown or diploma will not be distributed until this requirement is completed.

The office of Financial Aid requires all exit interviews to be completed by Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023.

(Canadian Students are not required to complete this requirement)

To complete the SUNY Optometry Financial Aid exit counseling session, click the link below:

  • Login to the site
  • Go to complete exit counseling.
  • You will need your Driver’s License to supply reference information.
  • You will need to know the exact total of your loans to complete the exit interview.

You can find this here:

Students also can set up 25-30-minute in-person counseling sessions with Financial Aid if more assistance is needed.

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After passing National Board Parts I, II, & III, you will be eligible for licensure in many states. Please refer to the website for information on licensing procedures. Each state has their own licensing requirements, fees, and law exams. Issuance of licenses will vary by state; licensing boards must wait until the National Boards electronically submit your scores. You must contact them to check your application’s status. With the current COVID situation, the entire process can take anywhere from one to three months.

The last time we checked, the NYS (New York State) licensing link was under development. If you are interested in obtaining a license in New York, applications are available online at the NYS Boards website

Applications to New York can be submitted as of April.


We will provide you with a copy near graduation week.

Forms required for New York Licensure:

Form 1 – Application:

  • Check both boxes for license and DPA privileges.
  • Complete the application online and submit payment to NYS Boards.
  • Upload a copy of your infection control certificate in “additional documentation”.

Form 2 – Certification of Professional Education:

  • Complete Section I of the form and submit (only page one, we attach a pre-filled Section II) to me via email at in pdf format only. We will email Form 2 directly to the NYS Boards after graduation. Note: The Registrar’s office experiences high peak volume during this time of the year; it would be best to send us the forms by May 23rd. Any forms received after this deadline will have to wait a full week before it is processed.
  • Transcripts: You get one free transcript request after graduation. Please complete the Post-graduation Transcript request form (will be emailed to the class). If you used your one free request, use this link to order more transcripts:
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The Capstone Program will be held on Tuesday May 23rd.

The Capstone program specifically for the graduating class is organized by the Offices of Alumni Affairs, Academic Affairs, and Student Affairs and will highlight how to capitalize on your network and optometry school experience as you transition from student to professional.

Information regarding Capstone will be updated as it becomes available.

Time Activity
12:00-12:15 PM Pizza and Welcome – (3rd Floor Student Lounge)Pizza and Welcome – (3rd Floor Student Lounge)
Dawn Rigney, Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Dr. David Troilo, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affair
12:15-12:25 PM Academy Presentation
Dr. Jennifer Hue, ‘13M
12:30-1:55 PM Build Your Professional Tool Kit (3rd Floor)
Speed networking with corporate sponsors, industry partners and SUNY Optometry departments
Break Move to Room 101 (Light snacks and drinks)
2:05-2:35 PM Moving from Student to Doctor
Drs. Ben Arthur, ’13, Julie Song, ’22, Kiranjeet Sran, ‘17
2:40-3:10 PM Credentialing, Licensure, Continuing Professional Education and ProfessionalismCredentialing, Licensure, Continuing Professional Education and Professionalism

Drs. Richard Soden, ’79 and Richard Madonna, ‘85

3:15-3:45 PM Managing Debt for Career and Life Success
Samuel Pugh, Financial Advisor, Northwestern Mutual
Break Move to 3rd Floor Student Lounge
3:50-4:00 PM NYSOA Presentation
Dr. Marina Su, Residency, ‘13
4:00-4:15 PM A Celebration of Your Journey from Student to Doctor
Dr. Gui Albieri, Vice President of Student Affairs
Dr. Quy Nguyen, ’13, Executive Director Career Planning & Development
4:15 PM Congratulatory Remarks
Dr. David A. Heath, President
4:20 PM Alumni Toast – Students for a Few Years, Alumni for Life
Dr. Vito Proscia, ’91, Alumni Association Board President
4:30 PM Cap and Gown and Yearbook Pick-up
Academic Affairs Greeting and Gifts

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Graduates have until June 16th to empty lockers. Students accepted into the in-house SUNY Residency program will have till July 7th to empty their locker.

The Residency Program Office will provide the Office of Student Affairs with a list of students in the graduating class accepted to an in-house SUNY Residency. Only students on this list will be allowed the extension.


Once accepted into our residency program, the Credentialing Department will ask you for many documents to be submitted to their office. We will provide them with a copy of your transcript. You are responsible for providing them with a copy of your Infection Control certificate, Child Abuse certificate, the electronic diploma (CeDiploma), and any other proof of training you obtained while a student at our college.

Students accepted to other residency programs, not affiliated with SUNY Optometry, are responsible for collecting the materials and forwarding it to their site.


Your SUNY email account will be accessible until Aug.1 to complete any school business.


The CDC provides opportunities for graduates to help enhance the professional development of current students. The CDC hosts programs and events where graduates can share their successes and engage with students. Contact Dr. Quy Nguyen to find out how you can be a part of the CDC networking family, if you have career-related questions, or would like to receive optometric opportunities that he receives from employers..

Alumni Association

Students for a few years; SUNY College of Optometry alumni for life.

Welcome to the Alumni Association! Commencement is not goodbye, but the beginning of a valuable, lifelong connection to the College, your classmates, and the prestigious alumni network.

  • Build connections with fellow graduates who are a great career development resource.
  • Receive event invitations, the e-newsletter, job postings, alumni and College news, and other professional development resources.
  • Share your news about professional and personal milestones, find a mentor, employer, partnership, or side hustle.
  • Volunteer as a mentor, admissions (eye) ambassador, or class reunion rep.

Staying connected and reaching out to alumni is easy. If you have not done so already, register (it takes less than two minutes) and complete your profile in the online alumni community, SUNY Eye Network (SEN),

Through this communication platform is how you can contact alumni, share your news, and receive information about events, job postings, and professional development resources.

  • Select ‘Get Started’ and sign up with your LinkedIn/Facebook profile or email. Use your permanent email address NOT your account.
  • Fill in your profile information and offer to help
    • Select alumni as your status
    • To update your email address- select ‘settings’ from the dropdown arrow on the upper right toolbar and add your permanent email

Please reach out to the office of alumni relations, Jennifer Kelly Campbell,, 212-938-5604, if you have any questions