Cazenovia College is welcoming alumna Kandice Watson back to campus as special guest speaker for its 197th Commencement on Saturday, May 14.

A Wolf Clan member of the Oneida Indian Nation, Watson earned her associate degree at Cazenovia in liberal studies in 1986. She has served as documentarian for the Oneida Indian Nation since 2017. In that role, her responsibilities include researching the Nation’s history and significant cultural events for posterity, as well as compiling data and providing historical context for Nation Member communications. Through her research, Nation Members are able to learn about and develop a direct connection to their past to ensure family histories are told from generation to generation.

Watson has worked for the Oneida Indian Nation in many roles since 1986, when she became a floor supervisor at the original bingo hall on Territory Road in Oneida, one of the Nation’s earliest businesses. After her education at Cazenovia College, she went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Utica College and then a master’s degree in teaching from Colgate University. In 2000, after completing her teaching coursework, she was named the Director of Education for the Nation, overseeing the Library, Early Learning Center, and the language, youth development, and scholarship programs. She also served as the Director of Education and Cultural Outreach while managing the Shako:wi Cultural Center, where visitors can experience Oneida history from the Nation’s role as America’s First Allies to the present day.

College President Dr. David Bergh noted, “We are always pleased to have our alumni back on campus, especially to address our 2022 graduates, their families, and faculty and staff for this special occasion. We look forward to recognizing Kandice’s personal achievements since her time here, as well as the progress of her Nation, and to acknowledging that the College is located on the Nation’s ancestral homelands.”


Time, Tickets, Parking

Commencement ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m. The procession of College officials, faculty, and graduating students begins at 10:10 a.m. from the lower gymnasium in the Schneeweiss Athletic Complex, and heads down Liberty Street and to the campus quad. The ceremony will take place rain or shine.

Each graduate will receive four tickets for guests to attend the Commencement ceremony. The event will also be streamed live for family members and friends who are unable to come to Cazenovia for the ceremony. A link to view the live stream will be provided on the college website by late April.

Parking for visitors will be available at the Schneeweiss Athletic Complex. Guests are encouraged to arrive early. Curbside parking along Seminary, Sullivan, and Nickerson Streets adjacent to the campus will be unavailable until after the ceremony has ended. Accessible parking for those with disabilities is available at Saint James Church, which can be entered from Sullivan Street, between Albany and Nickerson Streets.

As are many other colleges, Cazenovia is awarding an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree, honoris causa, in absentia to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as part of Commencement ceremonies. The honor is being awarded in recognition of Zelenskyy’s leadership and in support of the people of Ukraine in their struggle against the Russian invasion.