Donald Newhouse, Joe Biden address commencement ceremonies

More than 5,000 members of the Syracuse University class of 2016 received diplomas.

Sunday marked the 162nd Commencement at Syracuse University. Donald E. Newhouse, class of 1951, delivered the commencement address and received an honorary degree while 5,470 students received their attended the event.

"I arrived at Syracuse as a freshman in 1947, and while I did not achieve what you have -- it took me 69 years to get a degree -- I am extremely moved to be here alongside you today," Newhouse said in his speech to graduates.

Photo: Jackie Prager

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Graduate weekend also was highlighted by notable speakers including SU Law School alum and Vice President Joe Biden at Friday's College of Law graduation, and 1996 alum and Broadway producer Stacey Mindich who spoke her Newhouse School graduates.

Honorary degrees were awarded to Kevin Bell, class of 1974 and president and CEO of Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoological Society; SU football legend Floyd Little, class of 1967 and assistant to the Syracuse University athletics director; Tobias Wolff, Syracuse University faculty member from 1980-1997 and currentunday the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University.

Newhouse, who recently lost his wife Susan Newhouse to dementia, encouraged the new graduates to use their degrees to help the generation before them.

"I would hope some of you who studied in the fields of humanities and in the sciences, young as you are, will think of careers that touch on the aged, the demented and will work to find treatments for these diseases or to find ways of supporting the millions upon millions of families in the United States that have been financially and psychologically devastated by the burdens placed on them by the need to care for their loved ones," Newhouse said.

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