Utica College (UC) will hold two commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, including an undergraduate ceremony at 12:30 p.m. and a graduate ceremony at 6 p.m. A total of 626 undergraduate students are eligible, while 370 applied for the graduate ceremony involving masters and doctoral degrees.
The speaker at the undergraduate ceremony will be Linda Bramblett, director of North American transportation for International Paper. She earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal arts/pre-engineering from UC in 1989, and later earned a second bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech. She has been with International Paper for 25 years overall, and in her current position since last June. She lives in Memphis with her husband and son.
Named as valedictorian is Justin Derlago, a liberal studies major with a minor in English language, while the salutatorian is Gianluca Baggetta, an accounting major. Both hail from Canada, and are members of the men’s ice hockey team, the college said.
The graduate ceremony commencement speaker will be Joseph Martino, supervising gaming operations inspector for the New York State Gaming Commission at both the Point Place Casino in Bridgeport and the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango. Martino earned his bachelor’s degree in economic crime investigations with a minor in economics from UC in 2008, and his masters of business administration in economic crime and fraud management from UC in 2010. A Manlius resident, he previously a criminal investigator for Washington State Office of Fraud and Accountability, as well as a state licensed private investigator.
Receiving an honorary degree will be John Costello III. A 1966 graduate of UC with a degree in public relations, Costello retired in 2014 as president, CEO, and co-founder of CNFA, a private non-profit development organization in Washington, D.C.
Costello served on the UC Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2018 and received an Alumnus of Achievement Award in 2007.