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New Year, New Degree: Union Celebrates 800 Graduates at Virtual Winter Commencement Ceremony

Two Winter 2022 Graduates Celebrating their Achievement.

CRANFORD – Union County College held its Virtual Winter Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, February 12, 2022. Two ceremonies were conducted and almost 800 new graduates celebrated this momentous achievement. Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin served as the master of ceremonies and offered her words of wisdom, encouragement, and many congratulations to the graduates.

Union County College Board of Trustees Chair Victor M. Richel welcomed the graduates on behalf of the College’s Boards. The student speakers at the ceremony were two winter 2022 graduates, Danielle Whyte, of Scotch Plains, and Khiara Yap, of Bayonne.

Graduates invited to commencement completed their degrees in August or December of 2021. They received Associate Degrees in Arts, Applied Science, or Science. Certificates and Certificates of Achievement were also presented.

While the ceremony was held virtually, it presented a unique opportunity for friends and families in other cities, states, and even countries to view the event. The webpage that hosted the two ceremonies was visited more than 5,000 times from 22 countries.

Several students were recognized for both their academic and extracurricular achievements. The Abdallah-Thomas Memorial Award, which was established in honor of Ibtissam Ahmed Abdallah and Marquest S. Thomas, is awarded to graduating students who have at least a 3.25 GPA, have participated in college life through service in college activities and/or sports, and have completed community service. This year’s recipients were Tri Huynh Chau, of Union, who graduated with an Associate Degree in Computer Science and a 3.87 GPA, and Daneyvis Cabrera, of Roselle Park, who graduated with an Associate Degree in Psychology and a 3.70 GPA. The Alumni Prize Award was bestowed to Elizabeth Serrano Cruz, of Rahway. She graduated with an Associate Degree in Computer Science and a 4.0 GPA.

“While we are always happy to celebrate our graduates, we are particularly proud of this class for persevering during such a difficult time. They have managed school, home, and work responsibilities under the cloud of a global pandemic which has caused significant additional health and economic stresses. They are a resilient and determined group who will no doubt go on to great things,” stated Union President Dr. McMenamin.

Union County College is a public comprehensive community college providing quality, affordable, accessible educational programs to the greater Union County region. It is the first of New Jersey’s 18 two-year colleges, serving both career-minded and transfer-oriented students since 1933. The College enrolls almost 20,000 credit, non-credit, and continuing education students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Union has been recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the country for 2021 and 2023 as designated by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. For more information about Union, please visit www.ucc.edu.