WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. – The tent was filled to the brim for Warren County Community College’s 36th commencement on Saturday, May 20th as parents, families, friends and others gathered to celebrate the graduating class of 2023.
Student speaker Sarah Sylverne quoted poet Ralph Emerson in addressing her fellow graduates: “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”
“On your journey here today,” she said, “you have met numerous individuals who have had a profound impact on your life. From the classmates turned friends that supported you through classes with great laughs, to the professors who guided you through course material, your journey is a culmination of different experiences ranging from racing to the library to print out your essay before class to enjoying lunch with friends in the Eagle Nest Cafe.”
“You are here today because you have successfully challenged yourself to being better than you were before attending WCCC,” Sylverne added.
Yvonne Reitemeyer, chair of the college’s board of trustees, urged the graduates to “never give up, even when the going gets tough. Embrace failure and learn from it. Embrace changes. Dig deep and persevere.”
Norman Worth, president of WRNJ Radio in Hackettstown, was the keynote speaker and offered the following advice:
“Many of you will be going on to further your education and many will be entering the workplace almost immediately. As an employer, I’d like for you to consider two things. No matter what occupation you enter, please know that who you are will have a lot more to do than what you know. How you treat people will determine your rise more than almost anything else.”
“No matter what occupation you choose, you’ll have an opportunity to make yourself useful and valuable beyond your job description,” he continued. “Just look around and see what needs to be done. It could mean the smallest of things that nobody else notices.”
Dr. Marianne Van Deursen, acting president of WCCC, welcomed the SRO crowd and Warren County Commissioner Director Lori Ciesla congratulated the graduates on behalf of the county.