CRANFORD – On Wednesday, May 26, Union County College graduated over 900 students in more than 75 academic disciplines during its 76th Annual Commencement ceremonies on the Cranford Campus. Graduates were awarded Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Applied Science degrees, certificates, or diplomas for successful completion of programs.
Victor M. Richel of Berkeley Heights, chair of the Union County College Board of Trustees, welcomed the graduates and guests. Richel announced that this is year was a particularly noteworthy commencement, since Union County College was saying goodbye and thank you to Dr. Thomas H. Brown, who has led the college for the last 20 years.
According to Richel, through Dr. Brown’s leadership, UCC has become the premier community college in New Jersey, and a leader in community colleges in the nation. Additionally, Dr. John R. Farrell, Jr., has served as interim president since the beginning of 2010 and has done an extraordinary job leading the college and assisting in the selection process of the new president, Richel said. Effective July 1, 2010, Dr. Margaret McMenamin will be the new President. As well, as the newest group of alumni, Richel invited the graduates to be sure to, “…come back to celebrate with us.”
Also addressing the graduates was student speaker David Molinaro, who was a member of Psi Beta Honors Society. He will be heading to Fairleigh Dickinson University in the fall. Molinaro encouraged his fellow classmates that when they, “… go on to your careers, your four year schools, your clubs, your future students, your families, what impact will you make? I say to you all, graduating class of 2010 and everyone here witnessing this ceremony: “Make an impact”.
In his traditional Charge to the Graduates, Union County College President Dr. Thomas H. Brown congratulated the students and reflected on the achievements that occurred at Union County College during his twenty year tenure. He expressed to the graduates that they were graduating from an institution noted as, “… a leader among its peers.” He thanked the three College boards, noting them as the bedrock of the institution; Victor M. Richel in his role as Chair of the Board of Trustees and his many hours as advocate, donor, and leader; the faculty who are the core of the College; and the administration and staff for their support of the College’s missions and goals. Brown’s wish to the graduates is that they are as happy and successful in their future employment as he was in his twenty years as UCC’s President.
A highlight of the Commencement ceremonies was the presentation of the coveted Alumni Prize to Sheila Casey of Roselle, the Class of 2010 graduate who maintained the highest grade-point average and earned the most credits at UCC, and The Post-Day Award, presented to the graduating student who best exemplifies the College’s ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service. This year’s Post-Day Award was given to Kevin Sergeon of Union and Megan Andrade of Linden.
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