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Two distinguished alumni will receive SUNY Doctorate degrees during Onondaga Community College's Commencement Ceremony.

Ladd is a nationally-known illustrator whose visuals have helped tell the stories of some of our nation's most historic figures including Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, and Oprah Winfrey. He's a graduate of Syracuse's Corcoran High School who became the first member of his family to go to college when he enrolled at OCC. He began as a Computer Science major, switched to Art, and completed his degree in 1995. Twenty years later he was presented with one of OCC's highest awards when he was named an "Alumni Faces" honoree.

London Ladd '95
London Ladd '95

McKeon is the first lobbyist in United States history with Down Syndrome, the Spokesperson and Manager of Grassroots Advocacy for the National Down Syndrome Society, and she worked with Mattel to design the first Barbie doll with Down Syndrome. She began taking college classes at OCC in 2009 and received her General Studies degree in 2022 when she graduated with honors. She is represented on Cicero-North Syracuse High School's Wall of  Distinction, completed an MIT Management Executive Education program, and has won multiple Special Olympics Medals. In 2023, OCC named her a distinguished "Alumni Faces" honoree.

Kayla McKeon '22
Kayla McKeon '22

"When I got the call I kept saying 'seriously?' I was extremely honored," said Ladd. "This has to be right there at the top of things I've received because it's the all of me, my career as a mentor, as a man, and as an illustrator. I wish my mom could be here with her big smile like she was for Alumni Faces. She would be so proud. She was always my biggest advocate. She loved talking about me. Making her proud was a driving force. She only achieved a GED, but she worked so hard her entire life. To have her there would have been amazing to see me getting this honor. She would have been on cloud nine."

"I hope my story encourages current and future students, especially those with disabilities, and shows them the sky is the limit if they put in the work." said McKeon. "It's important not to limit yourself. Never compromise your dream."

Ladd and McKeon will receive their SUNY Honorary Doctorate Degrees at OCC's Commencement Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m. in the SRC Arena.

Onondaga Community College