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Commencement Speakers

SUNY Oswego proudly welcomes to campus Trudy Perkins, Ed Alberts, and Anthony Q. Davis to address the graduating Class of 2024 at the May 11th Commencement ceremonies.

From left to right, Trudy Perkins, Ed Alberts, and Anthony Q. Davis

Speakers at the May 11th Commencement ceremonies are, from left, 1993 graduate Trudy Perkins, who also is receiving an honorary doctorate in humane letters from SUNY; serial entrepreneur Ed Alberts; and Syracuse City School District Superintendent Anthony Q. Davis.

Trudy Perkins '93

1993 graduate Trudy Perkins, who will will be receiving an honorary doctorate in humane letters from SUNY, will speak at the 9 a.m. ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Perkins most recently served as the acting chief of staff and communications director for U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).

Perkins joined Senator Brown’s office in 2020 and, at that time, was the only African American communications director serving in a Senate personal office. Prior to joining Brown’s team, Perkins served as deputy chief of staff and communications director for the late Congressman Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland. She retired as a Congressional staffer in 2023 after more than 20 years on Capitol Hill.

Prior to her position with Congressman Cummings, Perkins was a news producer for WTEN-10 in Albany and WBAL-TV in Baltimore. She serves on a number of boards and non-profit organizations.

She was twice named to Maryland’s Top 100 women by the Maryland Daily Record and received the 2020 Christine Ray Davis Trailblazer Award from the Congressional Black Associates on Capitol Hill. In 2022, she received a service and leadership award from the Senate Black Legislative Staff Caucus. She has also been recognized as a “Person of Influence” by Channel Magazine and earned the Volunteer of the Year Award from the non-profit organization, Healthy Mentoring Matters.

Since graduating, Perkins has been very engaged with SUNY Oswego. She has been active with the Alumni-In-Residence (now Alumni Sharing Knowledge) programs, Return to Oz reunion for alumni of color planning committee, and Local Lakers regional events program. The keynote speaker and emcee for the 2022 Commencement Eve Torchlight Dinner and Ceremony, she recently completed a three-year term on the Oswego Alumni Association Board of Directors. She was a featured panelist at the Dr. Lewis B. O’Donnell Media Summit in 2018 and on the Oswego Alumni Podcast.

She currently serves on the Oswego Alumni Awards Committee and, as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA), which she joined as an Oswego student, helped create a SUNY Oswego scholarship called R.E.A.C.H. (Rewarding Excellence Among College Honors); she continues to serve on this committee to select an annual scholarship recipient.

As a student, Perkins also was the Student Association director of finance, a member of the Program Policy Board that helped bring national artists to SUNY Oswego, and a participant in the Black Student Union, International Student Association and ALANA. An Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) student, she was among a select group of EOP participants selected by SUNY during a 50th anniversary celebration of EOP.

Ed Alberts

Entrepreneur Ed Alberts will address the 12:30 p.m. ceremony for the School of Business.

Alberts is a proud graduate of SUNY Oswego with a master’s degree in management and a master's in business administration.

A serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of business expertise, he has launched many businesses, especially in Central New York, and employs over 700 people in his companies. His businesses include three restaurants; eight F45 fitness franchises in Long Island; four Little Lukes Childcare locations; a luxury day spa, a contract therapy company that contracts physical, occupational and speech therapists throughout central New York; a low-voltage wiring installer for franchises throughout the country; multiple real estate holdings; and a brewery in Syracuse.

Alberts’ current projects include renovating the historic Old City Hall building in Oswego into a brewery, a restaurant and eight apartments; and renovating The Foundry in Oswego into a 10,000-square-foot event venue.

He currently serves as chair of the Oswego Health Board and vice chair of the Richard S. Shineman Foundation. Alberts also gives back to his alma mater by advising on such projects as the Launch It student entrepreneurship competition and the establishment of the Rich ‘N’ Pour cafe in Rich Hall.

Anthony Q. Davis

Syracuse City School District Superintendent Anthony Q. Davis will keynote the 4 p.m. ceremony for the School of Communication, Media and the Arts and the School of Education.

Davis has dedicated his professional career to the field of education. He started his work with the Syracuse City School District in 1986 as a teaching assistant, then a special education teacher before entering school administration in 1996 as an administrative intern at Henninger High School.

In 1997, Davis accepted a leadership role in the Liverpool Central School District, where for almost 20 years he strived to provide a safe and secure educational environment along with a strong academic program for the district’s 2,300 students. He focused on empowering students through student forums; worked with the Counseling Department to develop practices, procedures and communication tools that best served students and families; and discovered new ways to provide students with the necessary skills to truly be college and career-ready.

In 2016, he returned to the Syracuse City School District as the assistant superintendent of secondary schools. In that role, he oversaw six high schools, six middle schools, 24 career and technical education programs, four alternative programs, three K-12 departments, two adult education programs, all athletics and more. He also provided leadership training to aspiring administrators in the Syracuse City School District.

Davis holds a permanent certification as a school district administrator as well as a certificate of completion from SUNY Oswego’s New York State Superintendent Development Program; a master of science in special education from Syracuse University; a bachelor of science in liberal studies from SUNY Albany; and an associate in occupational studies in computer programming from the Bryant and Stratton Business Institute.

An active community leader, Davis serves as a current board member for organizations including Light of Syracuse, a non-profit designed to enhance the quality of life for underserved communities in the city; the Central New York Regional Transportation Authority, focusing on transportation needs throughout Syracuse; St. Joseph’s School of Nursing; and VOICES for Youth, a new non-profit devoted to improving the community. Previously, he served as a Southwest Community Center board member, and as co-founder of Brother to Brother, a youth outreach program designed to pair successful and respected members of the community with troubled youth.