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Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 4:45pm
Dobbs Ferry Campus

Dobbs Ferry, New York – June 13, 2019 – On Wednesday, June 5, 2019, Mercy College conferred a total of 45 bachelor of science and associate of science degrees to graduates of the Hudson Link for Higher Education program situated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York.

Thirteen students received Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science degrees and 32 received Associate of Science in Liberal Arts degrees, all conferred by Mercy College President Timothy Hall. The commencement address was delivered by Verdun Perry, the Senior Managing Director at Blackstone and Global Head of Strategic Partners Fund Solutions. Class Valedictorian Michael Tineo also addressed his fellow graduates.

“This is the distillation of Mercy’s mission; that we are working to serve students who have not been well served,” said Dr. Karol Dean, Dean of Mercy’s School of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “For me, the Sing Sing program is where we see the mission in flesh and blood.”

Dean continued: “One of the things we have seen when we talk with our current students and our alumni from the Sing Sing program is the transformation as a result of participating in our program. They are able to see things they haven’t seen before. They will be able to have opportunities that weren’t there before. The ability to see this transformation and to have our students be able to articulate the transformation is the part of the commencement ceremony that is really enjoyable for me, for everybody from Mercy, and for the family members and friends of the graduate who attend.”

Facing the elimination of federal and state government funding to support higher education in prisons, Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison was formed in January of 1998 to help restore college education in prison. They have since partnered with a number of institutions of higher education to provide prisoners with a college education.

“We are proud to have the success we have had partnering with Hudson Link for Higher Education,” said Timothy Hall, President of Mercy College. “We believe in providing one the resources to succeed, no matter one’s circumstances in life, and our graduates here have shown they have what it takes to create a better future for themselves.”

Mercy College’s partnership with Hudson Link began in 2001, and Mercy’s first graduating class received its degrees in 2004.

According to Sean Pica, Executive Director of Hudson Link for Higher Education: “For nearly two decades, Mercy College has been providing academically rigorous undergraduate education and unrelenting support to our incarcerated Hudson Link students. We are so proud and grateful to have them as partners as we do this difficult but incredibly rewarding work together.”

Hudson Link Graduation

Photo Credit: Babita Patel / Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison