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Union County College Kicks-Off Black History Month Celebrations

CRANFORD – Union County College students, faculty, and staff celebrated the opening ceremony for the College’s Black History Month events on Feb. 1 in the Richel Student Commons at the Cranford campus. The program began with a drumming and musical performance by Victor Marshall Hand and Drum. Student Government Association President Brian Burger, of Union, welcomed the attendees which was followed by Union students Phordenson Auguste, Kyra Price, Deonna Rodgers, and Jamar Cayo of Hillside, and Ashley Fullerton of Union singing the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”
Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin addressed the crowd and introduced Assemblyman Jamel Holley and Union County Freeholder Angela Garretson. Both Assemblyman Holley and Freeholder Garretson encouraged students to persevere while noting that even with humble beginnings, there are opportunities if you work hard. Union County Freeholder Alexander Mirabella and County Manager Al Faella were also present.
The keynote speaker was Mrs. Candy D. Lewis, National Sales Director, Ruby Unit, of Mary Kay, Inc. Mrs. Lewis has been focused on improving women’s inner and outer potential since she joined Mary Kay 26 years ago. Mrs. Lewis was the first African American woman in her seminar to achieve a Million Dollars in Sales and be crowned Queen two times, in 2004 and 2006. In October 2017, she made history again when she was appointed National Sales Director, the first African American woman in her seminar to achieve this honor. Mrs. Lewis’ remarks focused on having dreams, working hard to achieve them, and not being limited by circumstances.
“This month we celebrate and recognize the achievements of African-Americans, those who have shaped the past and those who set examples for us today. At Union County College, we are proud of our student population which represents the wonderful tapestry of diversity in Union County,” stated Dr. McMenamin.
Following Mrs. Lewis’ remarks was a poetry performance by Union student Marie S. D’Haiti of Linden. Union’s Vice President for Student Development Dr. Demond T. Hargrove gave final words of thanks and a reminder that there are exciting events planned for the rest of the month.
For more information on Union County College and the events that will be held throughout the month, please go to www.ucc.edu.

Assemblyman Jamel Holley, Union’s Dr. Hargrove, Brian Burger, Union’s President McMenamin, Mrs. Lewis, Union’s Student Life Specialist Auraine Scott, Union’s Executive Secretary to the Vice President for Student Development Zulema Cheek, Freeholder Angela Garretson, and Freeholder Alexander Mirabella.