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ACCC Awards Nearly 700 Degrees at Commencement Ceremonies

May 24, 2007

Atlantic Cape Community College awarded nearly 700 associate in arts, associate in applied science and associate in science degrees at the school's 40th anniversary commencement, at 4 p.m., Thursday, May 24. This was the college's largest graduating class ever. Jane Oates, executive director of the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and senior policy advisor to Gov. Jon S. Corzine, delivered the keynote address.

Dr. Peter L. Mora, ACCC president, also presented an honorary associate in science degree from the college to Oates.

The Lindback Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Marilyn Malerba Keiner of Linwood, associate professor of paralegal studies. The Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Francis Rauscher of North Cape May, English instructor.

High Honors student Jessica Westerland of Wildwood, who achieved a perfect 4.0 average, delivered the class farewell. Westerland, a NJ STARS scholar, received an associate in science degree in General Studies. She plans to continue her education through the NJ STARS II scholarship program at Rowan University, where she will study journalism. She hopes to write novels and work for a local newspaper when she completes her education.

"We all ran the same race and we all had our own individual obstacles and triumphs, but what is most important is that we all persevered, and we all arrived at this point," Westerland said. "For some of us, this is the end of the race, and for others we are still running and this is just another mile marker. Whichever way you look at it, we all made it this far and that is an accomplishment to be proud of."

Judith A. Cole of Egg Harbor Township was elected by the student body to serve as student representative to the college's Board of Trustees, it was announced. She earned an associate in applied science degree in Nursing.

Student Government Association President Lakir Patel of Mays Landing encouraged students to strive for their dreams and enjoy future successes and learn from failure. "Remember, we will always have our education to fall back on, so use it to create your stepping stone to success," he said.

Robert Boyer, chairperson of ACCC's Board of Trustees, conferred the degrees and presented them to the graduates.