Hostos President Daisy Cocco De Filippis delivers her opening remarks at Honors Convocation.
Hostos Community College celebrated its 39th Annual Honors Convocation on Wednesday, May 24. College leaders, faculty, staff, Hostos donors, and Hostos Foundation board members gathered to celebrate the academic accomplishments of students at the Main Theater.

The celebration started with Digital Music major Ms. Marie Inamori’s rendition of the National Anthem. She was followed by President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, who underscored the importance of honoring personal growth through academic success.

“This occasion marks a moment, a ritual of passage, understood clearly by all cultures. In my first language, Spanish, there are two words that signify ‘honor’: ‘honra’ and ‘honor.’ This afternoon ceremony underscores both, as ‘honra’ is the honor we’re all bestowing upon you, and ‘honor’ is the one that comes from within, from the realization that you have done the good and right thing for yourselves and others,” said Cocco De Filippis.  
Subrena Williams, this year’s Salutatorian, delivered a moving speech about her journey to graduation and invited her peers to push through difficulties.

“We have triumphed! As we move forward, always believe in yourself, as your only competition is the person you look at in the mirror every day. If you fall eight times, get back up nine, and keep pushing forward, keep striving to be the great individual you know you can be and will be. Remember, we are the light in a world full of darkness, we are strong, we are agents of change, and we are the solution,” she stated.
Salutatorian Subrena Williams during her speech.
During the ceremony, Cocco De Filippis honored student leaders from the Student Government Association (SGA) and Hostos Athletics. For their part, the Hostos Foundation honored the Class of 2023 Valedictorian Yassine Gaye and Salutatorian Williams. The Foundation also honored recipients of the Cocco De Filippis Family Scholarship Endowment, the John Anthony Chardavoyne Scholarship Endowment, the Dr. Nasry Michelen Memorial Endowment, the Professor Isabel Li Endowed Memorial Scholarship, the Joe Alicea Veterans Fund, and the Paula L. Zajan Early Childhood Education Scholarship.

Academic departments honored students graduating with the highest grade point average in a major or for excelling in art, writing, language, media, performance, engineering, math, and sciences.

Student support programs, such as the Black Male Initiative (BMI), the Student Leadership Academy (SLA), and the School College Partnerships, recognized students for their growth as leaders, academic excellence, and for service in high school and college environments. Lastly, 92 students were honored with Scholastic Achievement awards, one of the highest accolades to be earned at Hostos.

Senior Vice President Esther Rodríguez-Chardavoyne with student Anderson Valerio, who received an award from the John Anthony Chardavoyne Scholarship Endowment.

In closing, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost Shiang-Kwei Wang said, “As you continue to pursue your academic or professional goals, remember the lessons you have learned here at Hostos. Embrace every opportunity to expand your knowledge and make a positive impact in your chosen fields. You have the power to shape the future, to drive innovation, and to make changes. Today, we celebrate your achievements, but tomorrow, we will celebrate the remarkable contributions you will make to our community and society. May your journey continue to be filled with success, fulfillment, and endless possibilities.”

One of the many special occasions of the evening was Digital Music major Ms. Marie Inamori’s rendition of the National Anthem. She will perform it again at the two 53rd Commencement Ceremonies on May 31 and June 1.