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Left to right: Grandmother Gita Basu, Mother Ranjana Ghosh, Valedictorian Susom Ghosh, Father Subir Ghosh.
New Rochelle, NY (May 2010)- Susom Ghosh of New Rochelle, who delivered the valedictory speech at Iona College's Annual Honors Convocation, has some advice for the incoming class of 2014, drawing on his experience at Iona. "Use all the opportunities that are available here and make the most out of it."
A native of Mumbai, India, Susom Ghosh graduated with honors and an overall GPA of 3.966. He was also the recipient of a four-year Academic Excellence Scholarship. He plans to live in New Rochelle and get some work experience under his belt before pursuing a career in economics.
The path that led him to Iona was informed by both academic excellence (he graduated at the top of his class in high school) and his father's recommendation that he obtain a liberal arts education at a small but top ranked college in close proximity to Manhattan. "I had been accepted to larger institutions including Indiana University, Purdue, the University of Michigan and Singapore Institute of Management but the small class sizes at Iona and its full-time professors were very appealing."
Reflecting on the impact that Iona had on him as a young man who traveled to a new country half way around the world, Susom noted in his valedictory: "It was my friends and faculty who diminished the effects of homesickness and made me realize the true potential of a relationship."
He also noted that one of the biggest inspirations at Iona was the value of service which the Christian Brothers exemplified (the Congregation of Edmund Rice Christian Brothers founded Iona in 1940). "It was on this campus that many of us learned how big the world is, how small we are in it and, at the same time, how large an impact we can have on the world."
Susom also learned about the meaning of leadership: "Being a leader means using the authority to make the best decisions that will benefit everyone around us. Successful leadership harnesses the dedication of students and faculty towards the organization. It is only through a team effort that we can leap over every hurdle on the road to success." He had the opportunity to serve in a leadership role as caption of the Iona College Fed Challenge Team, a group of individuals who compete at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Bilingual in English and Hindi as well as fluent in spoken Bengali, Susom has traveled extensively, having lived on five of the seven continents (Australia and Antarctica are next for the young traveler). In addition to traveling, he enjoys coin collecting and wildlife photography.
He has one final word of advice for the incoming freshmen: "Get to know your professors. The professors are the number one people I met and bonded with and they will be with me for the rest of my life."
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. It is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs.
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