|Spotlight on Our Graduates|
|Phi Theta Kappa
|Annual Awards Ceremony
May 17, 2012
Over 600 students, the largest graduating class in PCCC history, received their degrees and certificates at PCCC’s 40th annual commencement ceremony on May 17, 2012. Flags of 46 nations, representing the birth countries of the graduates, provided the backdrop for the ceremony, held in the gym on the Paterson campus.
Triumph in the face of struggle was a theme echoed repeatedly by the ceremony’s speakers. President Steven Rose commended students who persisted for years, one for 3 decades, to finally obtain their two-year college degree.
Keynote speaker Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., a strong supporter of PCCC, expressed confidence in the ability of the graduates to succeed in life and in taking on their responsibilities to society. “I know I’m in good hands,” he said.
In his moving and gracious valedictory address, John Hiers recounted his experience as an older student returning to college at PCCC. “I saw heroes everywhere,” he said, praising the single mothers, laid-off workers, and high school graduates from challenging backgrounds who pursued their education despite their difficulties.
Hiers reserved special accolades for the ESL students he met who “learn a new culture, master a new language, and understand the nuances of it all and not only survive but succeed in an academic setting.”