Chobani founder, molecular researcher tapped as UAlbany commencement speakers

Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of New York’s Greek yogurt maker Chobani, will deliver the University at Alba

Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of New York’s Greek yogurt maker Chobani, will deliver the University at Albany’s undergraduate commencement address on May 18.

Ulukaya started the No. 1-selling Greek yogurt brand in New Berlin, Chenango County, nearly 10 years ago. He studied business at UAlbany in 1997 and was given UAlbany’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award in 2012.

“I am honored to join the University at Albany in celebrating the graduating class of 2014,” Ulukaya said. “I hope to inspire the next generation of leaders and innovators so that they can also pursue their passions and fulfill their dreams.”

Ulukaya will deliver the address and receive an honorary degree at UAlbany’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 18 at 10 a.m. on the university’s entry plaza.

For the graduate commencement ceremony UAlbany tapped Thomas D’Ambra, co-founder of Albany Molecular Research Inc., as speaker. D’Ambra helped build the Albany-based drug discovery and manufacturing company in 1991. He recently retired as president and CEO last year.

D’Ambra and his wife Connie provided UAlbany’s Life Sciences Research Building with a $1 million grant, along with contributions to other area colleges including $3 million for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy.

He will deliver the main address at UAlbany’s graduate commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17 at 9 a.m. in SEFCU Arena.

“My Career and AMRI’s growth have benefited from the support of the university and numerous faculty and staff over the years,” D’Ambra said. “It is therefore a great honor and privilege to participate in these commencement activities. I look forward to being with and congratulating this latest group of outstanding graduates.”

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