Cranford, NJ – Union College held its commencement ceremony for the class of 2022 on Wednesday, May 25. More than 500 hundred graduates celebrated the momentous achievement at the College’s Cranford campus. Two ceremonies, which were led by Union’s President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin, were held to honor the graduates. This was the first in-person ceremony since January 2020 and the first time holding the ceremony on campus in over a decade.
Union College Board of Trustees Chair Victor M. Richel welcomed the graduates and their families on behalf of the College’s Boards. Each ceremony featured a speaker from the graduating class. Luana Rampelotti, of Hillside, gave remarks at the first ceremony and plans on attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Jacob Ashton, of Winfield Park, spoke at the second and plans on attending Columbia University.
Several students were recognized for both their academic and extracurricular achievements. The Post-Day Memorial Award was created more than 50 years ago in memory of two Union College students who were killed in a car accident while driving to their graduation. This notable award is given to students that exemplify the College’s ideals of scholarship, leadership, and service. At the first ceremony, the Post-Day Memorial Award was presented to Mark Farag, of Elizabeth, and George Stephens, of Kenilworth. At the second ceremony, the Post-Day Memorial Award was presented to Sophia Morales, of Linden and Alexander Hall, of Scotch Plains.
The Alumni Award was presented to the graduating student with the highest GPA. Hazel Nderitu, of Elizabeth, received the Alumni Award with a 4.0 GPA.
“We are pleased to have our graduates back for in-person Commencement for the first time in more than two years,” states College President Dr. Margaret M. McMenamin. “Many of these students started with us virtually, and it is great to see them here to receive their diplomas. They have worked hard during their time at Union, while facing additional stresses caused by COVID-19. We have seen them grow into leaders, achieve many successes, and I can’t wait to see what’s next for them.”
Union 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 is a 2023 top 25 semifinalist as designated by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.