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Commencement Speaker


Photo by Alexander Hassenstein at Getty Images

Erin Hamlin, 2014 Olympic Luge Bronze Medalist and Female Olympian of the Winter Games

Erin Hamlin will deliver the keynote address at Mohawk Valley Community College’s Spring Commencement, which will be held Friday, May 16 at 4 p.m., at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. A three-time Olympian, Hamlin is the first-ever American to medal in singles luge. The theme of Hamlin’s remarks to MVCC graduates and their families will be, “You’re never too small to hit the big stage.”

“Erin Hamlin is a great local success story and an inspiration,” said MVCC President Randall J. VanWagoner, Ph.D. “We are honored that she will be speaking to reflect on the accomplishments and potential of our graduating class of 2014.”

Hamlin opened her luging career in 2005. Her first major international victory was the gold medal in the women's singles event at the 2009 FIL World Luge Championship in Lake Placid, NY. Hamlin’s victory marked the first time in 99 races that a German woman was not the top finisher. Hamlin finished 12th in the women's singles event at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. She was selected in December 2009 to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and named Athlete of the Year by USA Luge multiple times. Her bronze-medal finish in Sochi was part of an historic seven-medal haul by the USA sliders, a high-water mark for the team that has set even loftier goals for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Hamlin is a native of Remsen, New York. Her parents, Eilleen (’81) and Ron (’86) Hamlin, are MVCC alumni.

More information on Erin Hamlin can be found at Twitter@ErinHamlin,, and