Aaron Mair Named 2017 Commencement Speaker

Date:08 Apr, 2017

Aaron Mair Named 2017 Commencement Speaker

NORTH COUNTRY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
TO CELEBRATE 49th ANNUAL COMMENCEMENT

Sierra Club President, Aaron Mair Named as Commencement Speaker
Saranac Lake, NY (April 2017)—North Country Community College (NCCC) will recognize the accomplishments of graduates for the 2016-17 academic year at its 49th annual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 13th at Sparks Athletic Complex on the Saranac Lake campus. The processional begins at 10:45 a.m., and the program will begin promptly at 11:00 a.m. The general public is invited to attend.
“We are pleased to announce that the College’s commencement speaker this year is Mr. Aaron Mair,” states Dr. Steve Tyrell, College President. “Aaron’s incredible effort with the Sierra Club is testimony to his service to others. His work to promote inclusion in the Adirondack Park is a hallmark of a leader committed to increasing stewardships with our great parks and where we promote all citizens to connect with the importance of preserving our environment.”
Aaron Mair is the Sierra Club’s 57th president and first African-American president. Mair became a Sierra Club member in 1999, following a decade-long battle that he led to shut down a polluting solid waste incinerator in an inner-city community in Albany, New York. His efforts ultimately led to a commitment by the state to shut down the facility and a $1.6 million settlement award to that community. Mair was also a key figure in leading the fight and securing the Sierra Club’s participation in the Clean Up the Hudson campaign, which resulted in a settlement between the EPA and General Electric to dredge toxic PCB sediments from the Upper Hudson River. Mair has held more than three dozen leadership positions within the Sierra Club’s Hudson Mohawk Group and Atlantic Chapter, including chapter chair (2002-2003), chapter executive committee (2002-2004) and environmental justice chair (2009-present). He was elected to the national Sierra Club’s Board of Directors in 2014. Throughout his tenure with the Club, Mair has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to grassroots action, environmental justice, and transforming the culture of the Sierra Club to make it – in his words – “a more welcoming environment to all people, regardless of their race or socio-economic status.” North Country Community College launched a diversity and inclusion plan in November 2016. “We are so pleased to have a speaker of national caliber join the College at our Commencement in May,” states Kim Irland, Dean of Student Life and College Diversity Officer. “As we move forward in our inaugural year of advancing the goals in our diversity plan, Mr. Mair’s experience will bring to the forefront the College’s desire to partner with other groups with advancing a welcoming environment in the Adirondack Park.”
Annette Hurlburt, a Secretary of the Ticonderoga campus student government and a member of the NCCC Diversity Task Force, had this to say about Mr. Mair’s selection: “I am completely honored to have someone like Mr. Mair speak at our commencement ceremony this spring. Through Mr. Mair’s work I’ve seen an inspiring man who is not afraid to speak up for something he believes in.” Hurlburt added that she looked forward to hearing more of Mair’s endeavors and accomplishments.
The 2017 Commencement is part of a year-long series of events celebrating the 50th anniversary of North Country Community College. Additional information about NCCC’s graduation ceremony is available on the North Country Community College website at www.nccc.edu, and it will include information related to location, parking, and regalia details.
About North Country Community College
As the only public college located in the Adirondack Park, North Country Community College provides educational, cultural and recreational programming to a 3,500 square mile service area with 90,000 inhabitants. The College maintains three campuses in Saranac Lake, Malone and Ticonderoga, New York; an extensive high school-based academic partnership; and online course offerings. Contact the College President’s office at shurwitch@nccc.edu for more information.