Degrees were conferred virtually last year to 315 students, yet nearly 100 graduates of the Class of 2020 returned to campus on Saturday, May 22, 2021 to walk across the stage and experience the ceremony and celebration of their academic milestone in person.
The 147th Commencement ceremony included remarks from Chair of the Board of Trustees, William H. Turner, III; College President, Marcheta P. Evans; Class of 2020 Valedictorian Ala Mikky; and former Student Government President Dreiana Halley. The Invocation and Benediction were delivered by Reverend Anita R. Wright.
College President Marcheta P. Evans gave the Commencement address, acknowledging the challenges of the past year and as well as confidence in the preparation provided those who will be our future leaders.
“You are the reason why we’re here. You are the reason why we do this job, for these moments…we made a promise that we were going to do everything possible to make this day happen for you…to see you walk across this stage today,” said Evans. “There have been so many people tirelessly working, praying that Governor Murphy would allow us to do this for you at this time,” said Evans. “I know the importance of just stopping and pausing and celebrating this moment…you had a dream and within that dream, you decided I’m not only dreaming it, I am going to achieve it…and you accomplished it!”
Evans continued, “The greatest joy in life is about service, when you can do something for somebody else, even when they don’t even know it…if this year has taught us anything, don’t take today for granted…tomorrow is not promised…you have to enjoy your life…find those moments of joy…set boundaries…we want you to work hard, but we also want you play hard. We want you to embrace those you love and tell them that you actually love them.”
Photos of maroon diplomas, caps and gowns and smiling eyes concluded the festivities on the College Quad.