UTICA — Mohawk Valley Community College held its spring commencement on Thursday at the Adirondack Bank Center with more than 1,120 MVCC students invited to receive their associate degrees or certificates awarded.
Col. Timothy J. Lawrence, director of the Information Directorate and commander of Detachment 4 at the Rome Air Force Research Laboratory, delivered the commencement keynote address. Also appearing was MVCC’s 2019 Alumni of Merit Award winner, Christopher Crolius ’78, a principal and founder of MARCH Associates Architects and Planners.
MVCC President Randall J. VanWagoner presided over the ceremony. Also offering remarks and congratulations was Camille Kahler, chair of the MVCC Board of Trustees.
More than 1,120 graduates were eligible for the conferral of a two-year associate in applied science, associate in occupational studies, associate in arts, associate in science degree, or one-year certificate.
By graduating, students join MVCC’s family of more than 48,000 living alumni on record, according to the college.
Lawrence has served at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s directorates in Edwards AFB and London as an advanced space propulsion engineer and space technology liaison officer. He authored a textbook on nuclear propulsion in 1995.
At USAFA, he was director of the Department of Astronautics Space Systems Research Center where he worked on the design, assembly, and flight programs of FalconSAT-2, FalconSAT-3, and FalconSAT-5 small satellites. Lawrence also spent eight and a half months in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was a mentor to the Afghan Dean of the National Military Academy Afghanistan. Before coming to AFOSR, he was the Commandant and Vice Chancellor of the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Lawrence, a native of Waterloo, Iowa, graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1988, a master’s degree from MIT in 1991, and a Ph.D. from the University of Surrey (U.K.) in 1998.
His Ph.D. research led him to receive the Thomas Hawksley Gold Medal from the Institute of Mechanical Engineering in 1999. That research, coupled with swimming the English Channel, led him to be named one of the top 10 outstanding young people of the world in 2001 by the World Jaycees.
Crolius, a member of MVCC’s Class of 1978, was selected as the honoree by the Alumni Association Board of Directors. After graduating from MVCC with an associate degree in Civil Technology, he earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Utica College, and a master’s degree in business administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He plays an active role in all aspects of the firm’s operations, utilizing his background in construction to take a hands-on approach.