St. Francis College Holds Winter Commencement

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS —Telling her classmates that getting by is not enough, St. Francis College Winter 2012 Valedictorian Hadar Burger encouraged her fellow graduates to follow their dreams with passion and to “choose to flourish and to succeed.”


Her speech was one of the highlights of an afternoon of ceremony on Monday, Jan. 23 at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Brooklyn Heights that began with a baccalaureate mass led by Rev. Edward Doran, continued with an organ concert from St. Francis Professor Michael Kaminsky, and concluded with the commencement ceremony for the winter graduates. 


Burger is an Israeli national with a double major in management (concentration in finance) and economics. She interned at National Grid for two years, working in the investment management area of the Treasury Division. Burger also interned at the New York Stock Exchange. For two years, she was also a member of the women’s water polo and swimming teams.  Burger graduates with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.


Dean of Academic Program Development Allen Burdowski delivered the commencement address, saying that the most important part of life is not what happens but how a person reacts to what happens. Georgette A. Loufti, from teaching in Lebanon to teaching in the U.S.


“We hope that you will always do the right thing, not only for yourself, but for society in general,” said Dr. Burdowski, who helped launch the college’s two graduate programs in accounting and its graduate certificate in project management. 


Among the students who graduated are:


Kayla Rebecca Reece: Born in Florida and raised in Guyana, Kayla graduates with a degree in communication arts (concentration in advertising and public relations). She also minored in women’s studies and international cultural studies and was deputy editor in charge of the St. Francis student newspaper,


Georgette A. Loutfi earned her degree in professional studies. She is a teacher’s assistant in special education in the New York City public schools and will now take her exam to become a licensed teacher or bilingual educator. Georgette, who was an elementary school teacher in Lebanon, was presented with her diploma by her son, Richard, a St. Francis graduate from the Class of 2010.


Minerva Rolon, a secretary in the information technology department at the college, received her associate in arts degree.