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SoCJ’s Giorlando gives student address at Stony Brook commencement

Tim Giorlando headshot

Tim Giorlando headshot Tim Giorlando, a mass communication and political science major, delivered the traditional student commencement speech at Stony Brook University’s commencement ceremony.

In his remarks, he reminisced about the challenges of transitioning from high school to college during the height of the covid pandemic, how he found his place at Stony Brook and transformed from the person he was to the person he is now – an experience that everyone sitting in front of him in a red cap and gown could relate to.

“Even after many Thursday night biochemistry exams and labs, weekly discussion board and article deadlines, dozens of critiques and lectures, hundreds of dining dollars and thousands of DUO Mobile phone logins, we all were woven and uplifted through each other,” said Giorlando from the podium at LaValle Stadium. “We’re facing another inflection point of uncertainty. Now more than ever, we must fight for ourselves and for a tomorrow that everyone can prosper in. 

“Continue to keep doing what you love, I promise it’s worth it.”

This is the second time in the 18-year history of the School of Communication and Journalism that one of its students was selected to give the speech. Giorlando addressed a crowd of thousands of graduates and many more faculty, staff and guests.

“Tim has distinguished himself across campus as a student-leader, as a storyteller, and as a resource and advocate for his fellow students,” said Laura Lindenfeld, dean of the SoCJ and executive director of the Alda Center for Communicating Science. “I am so proud of his achievements, and delighted to see him take the stage at LaValle as the culmination of his time as a Seawolf.”

Every year, a graduating senior is chosen to address the crowd at the ceremony after a rigorous audition process. Philly Bubaris, who graduated in 2013, was the first student from the School of Communication and Journalism to give the student speech.

In the course of his four years at Stony Brook, Giorlando came to stand out for his academic achievements and his high level of involvement in campus activities. In addition to being a double major and a studio art minor, he was in the university’s honors program and participated in their Big Sibling program for three years. He served as a resident assistant, an active member of the SoCJ dean’s advisory board and as a research assistant in the political science department. 

Giorlando also played significant roles in student media. He contributed for three years to The Statesman, Stony Brook University’s campus newspaper, eventually serving as podcast and multimedia editor for the publication. After being on the editorial board for two years, he played an active role in the Stony Brook Media Group, including directing the group’s two live broadcasts this academic year: the Holiday Spectacular and Roth Regatta. He continues to do freelance photography and social media branding, creating the Stony Brook Steam Vent to share campus photojournalism through Instagram. He was the inaugural winner of the Spirit of SoCJ Award at the School’s annual End of Year Celebration earlier this semester.

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