On Friday, May 20, Bloomfield College embraced nearly 290 new alumni at the College’s 143rd Commencement Ceremonies.
Distinguished guests, families, and friends joined the College community on campus, as students received Master of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Science degrees from Bloomfield’s 60-plus majors and concentrations.
The institution conferred recognition upon its distinguished retiring faculty during the program, with Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Nora Krieger, and Professor of Education, Cheryl Evans, receiving Professor Emeriti honors.
Bloomfield College President, Richard A. Levao, opened the beautiful, sunny morning program with a message to students. The day also featured remarks from other notable speakers, including honorary degree recipient Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, Chair of the Board of Trustees, William H. Turner, III, President of the Alumni Association and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, John J. Delucca ’66, and Class of 2016 Valedictorian, Portia Chimbirai.
“Bloomfield College has been to most of us, a second home,” said Chimbirai. “We have gained friends, and forged relationships and bonds that will last a lifetime. We have experienced that special, personal touch this enriching college has to offer.”
An international transfer student from Southern Africa, Chimbirai came to America nearly five years ago to pursue her higher education. In 2014, after earning her Associate Degree in Business from Bergen Community College, she transferred to Bloomfield College and earned her undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance. She will continue her education at the College this fall, pursuing a Master of Science in Accounting degree.
“The fact that we are here today is a testament to all of our hard work and perseverance,” said Chimbirai, directly to her fellow graduates. “This is just an end to one chapter of our story. I strongly believe that our experience here at Bloomfield College has equipped us with the essential skills and knowledge needed to not only thrive, but succeed, in life.”
Her honest and empowering speech, which included an original poem that had been published a few years prior, resonated with many students, who could be seen nodding and smiling in agreement.
“Let us remain true to our passions,” encouraged Chimbirai. “Let us never give up on our dreams, and let us go forth and make a positive impact in the world.”
Following Commencement, in a sea of decorated caps, maroon diplomas, balloons, flowers, and smiles, both graduates and guests continued the celebration on a very crowded Liberty Street.