By Alex Smyth
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The accomplishments of the class of 2017 will be celebrated when Camden County College holds its 49th annual commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. May 12 in the Truman Courtyard on the Blackwood campus.
Last year, 1,729 students received their degrees from Camden County College. Although graduation packets are not due yet, a similar number of graduates is anticipated this year. Degree recipients will include students who completed their academic program requirements in the fall of 2016 and those who will complete them in the spring of 2017 and summer of 2017 semesters. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dana Redd, mayor of Camden.
Among the graduates will be Jeremy Stevens of the class of 2017, who said graduation will mean a lot to him.
“I am proud of myself for how far I’ve come and what I was able to achieve. I feel blessed for being able to go to college,” Stevens said. “Not everyone has the opportunity to go to college and get a degree. Now I am one step closer to my career. To me that’s special.”
He plans to transfer to Rutgers University or Rowan University in the fall.
“I am the first member of my family to receive a college degree and that is a big accomplishment for me,” he added.
Also looking forward to the commencement ceremony is Jacqueline Tenuto, assistant dean for student development and support, who said she has a favorite part of graduation.
“I help the students line up in the gymnasium before the ceremony begins. When the students are ready, I stand up on the bleachers before them and yell, ‘I’m looking for the class of (the year of that graduating class),’” Tenuto said. “To witness the sea of students going crazy gives me goosebumps.”
She said it’s important for graduating students to participate in the commencement ceremony.
“It is very important to me that students walk and celebrate their achievements,” she said. “Some students receive their associate’s degree and take that for granted. A lot of people don’t get the opportunity to receive one.”
She noted the college is expecting between 700 and 800 students to participate in this year’s ceremony.