The Bergen Community College Newsletter Summer 2015
Volume 2, Issue 3
Celebrating Success at Commencement 2015 S
porting honor sashes and cords, glittering caps and grins, with a simple tassel turn, the Bergen Community College class of 2015 transformed from undergraduates to alumni at the College’s 46th annual commencement May 21 held for the first time at the Meadowlands Exposition Center. President B. Kaye Walter, Ph.D., (top left) congratulated the graduates. “From this day forward you are an important part of our legacy,” she said. “You will always be part of Bergen Community College.” Leading more than 2,800 candidates for graduation, the class’ top students, valedictorian Mariia Alibekova (top right) and salutatorian Michael Nehring (bottom left), spoke on behalf of their peers. “Be active learners,” Alibekova, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship winner said. “This, of course, does not mean you have to change your Facebook relationship status to ‘married – organic chemistry textbook’ like I did. That’s a little extreme. Just make sure you keep learning. Minds are parachutes: they only function when open.” Nehring agreed. “As I climbed up that ladder of life, I learned that it wasn’t others who could teach me to appreciate education. It was a point I needed to reach on my own,” he said. “Maybe you’ve shared a similar experience, one that has allowed you to find wonder in an everyday thing. That is the purpose of learning.”
Class of 2015 By the Numbers • 4.0 GPAs – 72 • Phi Theta Kappa Members – 331 • Top Degree: A.S., Professional Studies – 777 • Top Hometown: Garfield – 134
Alibekova will now transfer to Colorado School of Mines to study chemical engineering; Nehring plans to attend Rutgers Business School. Fellow class of 2015 graduates have earned acceptance at four-year institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University and N.J.I.T. Graduates in career-focused programs will immediately enter the workforce, supporting the region’s economy in fields such as healthcare and information technology. The class of 2015 also included three unconventional graduates: Bergen County Freeholder David L. Ganz, a longtime College advocate, received the institution’s first official honorary degree, while the families of students Stephen Petruzzello, a special police officer who died in the line of duty, and Brenda Truesdale, a lifelong resident of Bergen County, received the first official posthumous degrees. Keynote speaker Cid D. Wilson (bottom right), the former vice chairman of the Bergen Board of Trustees and current president and CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, embraced the opportunity to return to Bergen County to celebrate the class of 2015. “Repeat after me,” Wilson, who served on Bergen’s governing panel for nine years, implored the graduates. “I plan to achieve; I dare to exceed; great results, you will see.” Remarks from Bergen County Executive James Tedesco III and Bergen County Freeholder Chairwoman Joan Voss, Ed.D., also highlighted the ceremony. ■
Campus Calendar Small Business Development Center & Business Incubator Open House Wednesday, June 3 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands, 5th Floor Young Playwrights Festival Thursday, June 4 8:00 p.m. Main Campus, Anna Maria Ciccone Theatre “Suburbia Onstage II” Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13 7:30 p.m. Main Campus, Ender Hall Lab Theatre “A Jazzy Sunday” Music Festival Sunday, August 9 Noon – 9:00 p.m. Main Campus, Parking Lot C
A Schedule for All Seasons Summer • II: July 7 to August 13 • III: August 10 to 27 Fall • I: September 1 • II: September 23 • III: October 28 Register at my.bergen.edu.
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