BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Capping off a challenging year for many college students, Bloomfield College conferred degrees on more than 270 members of the Class of 2021 in six, in-person ceremonies held on the College Quad in May.
Additionally, though degrees were conferred virtually last year to 315 students, nearly 100 graduates of the Class of 2020 returned to campus on May 22 to walk across the stage and experience the ceremony and celebration of their academic milestone in person.
Distinguished guests, families, friends and graduation candidates joined together for the in-person events on campus, as students walked across the stage to receive Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from Bloomfield College.
The 148th Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 included remarks from college board of trustees Chairperson William H. Turner III; Chairperson-elect Vernon Endo; college President Marcheta P. Evans; and student academic leaders Steve Bifano, Carolanne Gibson, Quinn Hodson, Natalie Perlaza, Natalya Porcello and Andrea Gabriela Sotomayor Proano. The invocation and benediction were delivered by the Rev. Anita R. Wright.
Honorary degree recipients included “The Real MVP” Wanda Durant; a “Hidden Figure” of the first-manned Apollo 11 lunar landing mission, Marion Lee Johnson; and immediate past president of Bloomfield College, Richard Levao.
Evans gave a rousing address inviting students to pay it forward, to choose something they are passionate about and become involved in helping others.
“Use your education and your learned skills to be the shining light in your workplace, and in all your volunteer and other life endeavors,” Evans said. “Let your actions be a message to others that Bloomfield College is a place where learners can write their own stories — a place where leaders are born, dreamers become achievers and success is duly reachable.”
Sen. Cory Booker sent a video message to the Bloomfield College Class of 2021, asking for the graduates to help unite currently fractured communities.
The 147th Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 included remarks from Turner, Evans, Class of 2020 valedictorian Ala Mikky and former Student Government President Dreiana Halley. The invocation and benediction were delivered by Wright.
Evans gave the commencement address, acknowledging the challenges of the past year.
“You are the reason why we’re here. You are the reason why we do this job, for these moments … we made a promise that we were going to do everything possible to make this day happen for you … to see you walk across this stage today,” Evans said. “There have been so many people tirelessly working, praying that Gov. Murphy would allow us to do this for you at this time.”