With the chiming of the bells at St. Paul’s Chapel on the morning of May 20, 2015, Columbia Commencement officially begins. Graduates of the School of Social Work will be among the nearly 15,000 to receive degrees.

They will also be among those to wear the very first Columbia graduation gowns to be made from recycled plastic bottles, one of the University’s commitments to a sustainable environment.

After listening to President Bollinger’s address, our students will have their M.S.S.W. degrees conferred.

But the day is not over yet. At 2:00 p.m., the School’s own graduation ceremony begins at Beacon Theatre, at Broadway and 72nd Street.

Dr. Martha B. Peláez, who for nine years served as the regional advisor on aging to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, will serve as speaker.

The ceremony wraps up at 4:30 p.m., but for many proud graduates, their friends and families, the celebrations will continue into the night and wee hours of Thursday morning. Hopefully, some of them will take a few moments to bask in the LED lights of the Empire State Building, which once again will shining blue and white in honor of Columbia’s graduates.

Commencement and Graduation 2015

Are you participating in tomorrow’s events? Please label your photos and tweets with #cssw2015 so that we can all share in the joy!

And now let’s give a few members of the Class of 2015 the final word as they say thanks to the instructors, mentors, administrators, friends and family who supported them during their journey at the School of Social Work:

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