It was an emotional farewell as the College of Saint Rose held its final commencement ceremony Saturday before closing its doors forever after 104 years.

What You Need To Know

  • The College of Saint Rose, a 104-year-old institution, held its final commencement ceremony on May 11, 2024, before permanently closing due to financial challenges and declining enrollment

  • The closure is particularly disruptive for underclassmen who will have to transfer to other colleges to complete their degrees

  • For the Class of 2024, the closure represents the end of an era and the loss of a beloved institution that was a pillar of the community

For the Class of 2024, it marked the end of an era and the loss of a beloved institution that had been a pillar of the community for over a century.

"It's a really, really big goodbye. And it definitely hits a lot harder than it probably would normally," said Mia Longo, a 2024 graduate.

Paige McCulloch, another 2024 graduate, described the moment as "unreal."

"With the school closing, it's very ... just like coming to a close to kind of everything. Even, like we are turning over a new leaf. It's very shocking," McCulloch said.

Lamiya Farid, who also graduated this year, expressed mixed emotions.

"It feels bittersweet. I'm grateful that I could walk the stage, but also sad for the people who couldn't walk the stage," Farid said.

The closure has been especially difficult for underclassmen, who must now transfer and complete their degrees elsewhere. Graduates offered words of encouragement.

"We have to find a whole new [college] all over again. It's just not the best. So it's really, really shocking in the sense of, 'Oh, OK, it is happening'," Longo said.

For alumni like Keith Baker, who watched his daughter Carly graduate, it was a bittersweet moment seeing his alma mater shut down.

"It was sad because I had such good feelings, and I felt like I got such a good education. I was a 39-year teacher," Baker said.

Farid, whose family moved from Kuwait nearly a decade ago, said the moment was very meaningful for her and her family.

"I want my parents to know that the sacrifice was worth it for them to come here in 2013. So it feels great that my parents can see me walk across the stage today," she said.