New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy delivered the keynote address; WomenRising was recognized with the College’s 2019 Heritage Award.
June 3, 2019, Jersey City, NJ – On Thursday evening, May 30th, Hudson County Community College (HCCC) honored its Class of 2019 with a joyful Commencement celebration at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) in Newark, NJ. The event marked the 42nd Commencement celebration in the College’s 45-year history.
With 1,383 graduates, the HCCC Class of 2019 is the largest in Hudson County Community College’s history.
As the graduates processed into the theater, they were greeted with rousing applause from family, friends and College faculty, administrators, and staff. Then, Reverend Dr. Joshua Rodriguez, pastor of Cityline Church in Jersey City, delivered the invocation and urged the graduates to use their education as a tool to help others.
HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber welcomed the graduates and guests. He told the HCCC Class of 2019: “Our society needs professionals like you, who possess skills for leadership and accomplishment; a dedication to service; caring for others; a genuine concern for the environment and for sustainable living; and an understanding of the importance of embracing collaboration and diversity, across and within communities.”
In his remarks to the graduates, HCCC Board of Trustees Chair William J. Netchert, Esq. spoke about how Board members are responsible for investing in the College, and most importantly, in the students. “Seeing all of you at today’s Commencement ceremonies, I’d say the return on our investment is excellent! We are very proud of you and hope that as you continue in your life journeys, you will invest yourselves in our community,” he stated.
Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise offered congratulations to the Class of 2019 and invited them to work with him and the College to make the future brighter for everyone in the County. “You exemplify the very best that Hudson County has to offer,” the County Executive told the graduates. Mr. DeGise then introduced New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who delivered the keynote address.
The Governor began by disclosing that he was wearing teal-colored socks (the color of the College’s logo) especially for the event. He went on to tell the graduates that his goal is to make sure that those who come to Hudson County Community College in the years to come will find a college that is as diverse and accessible as HCCC can be. Governor Murphy launched the Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) program in January. Thanks to that program, over 740 HCCC students received CCOG awards totaling nearly $800,000.
The College’s 2019 Heritage Award was presented to WomenRising. Sr. Roseann Mazzeo, S.C., the nonprofit organization's Executive Director, accepted the award. Hudson County Community College collaborates with WomenRising in the highly successful Community Partnerships in Hotel Employment program, which provides job training and placement in the hospitality industry.
Another highlight of the evening was Jersey City resident Deborah Acevedo’s Valedictory speech. Ms. Acevedo graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 grade-point average. She will attend New Jersey City University with a full scholarship. “You will benefit from everything you learned at Hudson County Community College,” she told her fellow graduates.