NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The rainy weather on Sunday did nothing to affect the festive mood at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center as Monroe College in New Rochelle held its 83rd annual commencement.
More than 40 countries were represented by the 2,700 students receiving associate, bachelor's or master's degrees and professional certificates. In addition to students from the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, members of the Monroe College Class of 2016 included sizable contingents from the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, St. Lucia and Vietnam.
A parade of flags was part of the opening events, with each flag marched in by a student from that country. The U.S. flag was carried at each ceremony by veterans in their dress uniform rather than the traditional graduation gown.
Two separate ceremonies were held to accommodate the large number of friends and family members who came to witness and celebrate this milestone day in their loved one’s life.
Kathie E. Davidson, supervising judge of the 9th Judicial District Family Courts, and state Sen. Gustavo Rivera of the 33rd District were the keynote speakers.
By the end of the second ceremony, Monroe conferred a total of 253 master's degrees; 1,197 bachelor's degrees; and 1,212 associate degrees during the commencement ceremonies, as well as awarded 38 professional certificates.
This year’s commencement exercises were especially meaningful for Monroe President Stephen J. Jerome as 2016 marks his 50th year with the college. He and Marc Jerome, executive vice president, welcomed students and their families with opening remarks that spoke to their pride in the students’ accomplishments and best wishes for continued personal and professional success.
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