2017 Graduate Commencement

2017 Graduate Commencement

October 19, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


>>GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME — [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] — TO MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY’S 2017 GRADUATE SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] AT THIS TIME, EVERYONE SHOULD SILENCE ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES. GRADUATES, PLEASE RISE AS THE PROCESSIONAL WILL NOW BEGIN. ♪♪>>LEADING THE PROCESSION IS THE GRAND MARSHAL, PROFESSOR DOMENICA DESIDERIOSCIOLI . SHE CARRIES THE UNIVERSITY MACE, AN ORNAMENTAL STAFF SYMBOLIZING THE PRESIDENT’S AUTHORITY. NOW ENTERING THE THEATER ARE THE GONFALONIERS, CARRYING THE COLLEGE AND SCHOOL FLAGS. THE FACULTY MEMBERS BEARING THE GONFALONS WERE SELECTED FOR THIS HONOR BY DEANS OF THEIR RESPECTIVE SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES IN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THEIR SCHOLARSHIP AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UNIVERSITY. REPRESENTING THE GRADUATE SCHOOL IS DR. BRIAN CAROLAN, ASSOCIATE DEAN AND PROFESSOR. PROFESSOR ERIC DIAMOND IS REPRESENTING THE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS. PROFESSOR LINDA WISE IS CARRYING THE GONFALON FOR THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] PROFESSOR DAVID GALEF IS REPRESENTING THE COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES. PROFESSOR STEPHANIE BRACHFELD IS CARRYING THE GONFALON FOR THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS. THE FELICIANO SCHOOL OF BUSINESS IS BEING REPRESENTED BY PROFESSOR ANISH PARIKH. ♪♪ [“POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE”] ♪♪ LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE WELCOME THE MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT, TRUSTEES, OFFICERS AND HONORED GUESTS. ♪♪ [APPLAUSE] ♪♪ [“POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE”] ♪♪ ♪♪ AND NOW WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT OUR DISTINGUISHED FACULTY AND STAFF. ♪♪ ♪♪ [“POMP & CIRCUMSTANCE”] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ PLEASE BE SEATED. PLEASE WELCOME THE PRESIDENT OF MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY, DR. SUSAN A. COLE. [APPLAUSE]>>GOOD EVENING, GOOD EVENING, EVERYONE. THESE ARE THE 2017 GRADUATE SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES FOR MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY. [CHEERS] I EXTEND A WARM WELCOME TO OUR DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, OUR GRADUATES, THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS, AND THE UNIVERSITY’S FACULTY AND STAFF. THE NATIONAL ANTHEM WILL BE SUNG BY JORDAN WILHELM , WHO WILL BE RECEIVING HIS MASTER OF ARTS DEGREE TONIGHT IN MUSIC. PLEASE RISE. ♪ OH SAY CAN YOU SEE ♪ ♪ BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT ♪ ♪ WHAT SO PROUDLY WE HAILED ♪ ♪ AT THE TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING ♪ ♪ WHOSE BROAD STRIPES AND BRIGHT STARS ♪ ♪ THROUGH THE PERILOUS FIGHT ♪ ♪ O’ER THE RAMPARTS WE WATCHED ♪ ♪ WERE SO GALLANTLY STREAMING ♪ ♪ AND THE ROCKETS’ RED GLARE ♪ ♪ THE BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR ♪ ♪ GAVE PROOF THROUGH THE NIGHT ♪ ♪ THAT OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE ♪ ♪ O SAY DOES THAT STAR SPANGLED BANNER YET WAVE ♪ ♪ O’ER THE LAND OF FREE ♪ ♪ AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE ♪♪ [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>PLEASE BE>>SEATED. THANK YOU, JORDAN. WE WISH YOU SUCCESS IN FULFILLING YOUR ASPIRATION FOR A CAREER IN VOCAL PERFORMANCE. YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT. IT IS MY PLEASURE TO CONGRATULATE ALL OF THE GRADUATES. AS YOU WALK ACROSS THIS STAGE TONIGHT, EACH OF YOU WILL REPRESENT A UNIQUE SET OF ASPIRATIONS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS, AND YOUR PRIDE WILL BE SHARED BY THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE JOINED YOU TONIGHT AND WHO HAVE SUPPORTED YOU IN MANY WAYS THROUGH YOUR JOURNEY. THE SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF GRADUATE EDUCATION IS A PARTICULARLY NOTEWORTHY ACCOMPLISHMENT, AND THE UNIVERSITY’S 1,235 STUDENTS WHO WILL HAVE RECEIVED GRADUATE DEGREES THIS YEAR WILL JOIN A VERY SPECIAL GROUP. NATIONALLY, ONLY ABOUT 9% OF AMERICANS HAVE EARNED A MASTER’S DEGREE, AND ONLY — [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] AND NOW IT’S 9.1%. [ LAUGHTER ] AND ONLY ABOUT 1% HAVE EARNED A DOCTORAL DEGREE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] SO, WHILE THIS EXTRAORDINARY ACCOMPLISHMENT SHOULD GIVE YOU MUCH SATISFACTION, IT ALSO GIVES YOU A HEAVY RESPONSIBILITY TO USE THE BENEFITS OF YOUR EDUCATION TO MAKE POSITIVE CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOUR FAMILY, TO YOUR COMMUNITY, AND TO THE LARGER WORLD. EDUCATION IS MEANINGLESS, MEANINGLESS, UNLESS IT IS PUT TO USE. THE INTELLECTUAL MATURITY YOU HAVE GAINED THROUGH YOUR GRADUATE STUDIES HAS PROVIDED YOU WITH THE GROUNDING TO CREATE NEW KNOWLEDGE, TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE TO ACTION IN THE WORLD, AND TO CONTINUE THE PROCESS OF LIFELONG LEARNING. WHAT YOU WILL CARRY OF VALUE WITH YOU FROM THIS PLACE TONIGHT IS NOT A PIECE OF PAPER ATTESTING TO YOUR DEGREE BUT, RATHER, THE POTENTIAL AND SOME OF THE POWERFUL TOOLS YOU WILL NEED TO LIVE THE KIND OF LIFE THAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE SHAPING OF THE WORLD. SO, THIS EVENING, WE HONOR YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS AND CELEBRATE WITH YOU, BUT WE URGE YOU TO REMEMBER THAT YOUR HARD WORK WAS NOT JUST FOR THIS DAY. THE POINT AND PURPOSE OF IT ALL EXTENDS WELL INTO THE FUTURE. AND WE WILL BE WATCHING TO SEE WHERE YOUR JOURNEY TAKES YOU. AND NOW IT IS TIME TO CELEBRATE! AND TO HELP US DO THAT, A NUMBER OF SPECIAL GUESTS HAVE JOINED US ON THE PLATFORM. THEY ARE OUR DISTINGUISHED HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT, CARLOS RODRIGUEZ. [APPLAUSE] ALSO JOINING US ARE NEW JERSEY STATE SENATOR ANTHONY BUCCO, SR. AND ASSEMBLYMAN ANTHONY BUCCO, JR. RIGHT UP THERE. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. MEMBERS OF OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND FOUNDATION BOARD OF TRUSTEES: CHRISTOPHER CLEMENT,OUR STUDENT TRUSTEE. HASANI COUNCIL OUR STUDENT TRUSTEE. MARY COMITO, FRANCIS CUSS. ARE YOU WAVING? [ LAUGHTER ] ARE THEY WAVING? GOOD. MARC DE GRANDPRE, LAWRENCE INSERRA, KENT SLUYTER. THE UNIVERSITY OFFICERS: PROVOST AND VICE PRESIDENT FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS WILLARD GINGERICH, VICE PRESIDENT FOR UNIVERSITY FACILITIES, SHAWN CONNOLLY, VICE PRESIDENT FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, CANDACE FLEMING, ARE THEY WAVING?>>NO! [ LAUGHTER ]>>WAVE! [ LAUGHTER ] VICE PRESIDENT FOR STUDENT DEVELOPMENT AND CAMPUS LIFE, KAREN PENNINGTON, [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] VICE PRESIDENT FOR FINANCE AND TREASURER, JON ROSENHEIN, VICE PRESIDENT FOR UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT, JACK SHANNON, ACTING VICE PRESIDENT FOR HUMAN RESOURCES, JUNEA WILLIAMS-EDMUND, COME ON. BIG WAVE! BIG WAVE! [ LAUGHTER ] UNIVERSITY COUNSEL, MARK FLEMING, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BUDGET AND PLANNING, DAVID JOSEPHSON. THE UNIVERSITY DEANS: DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS, DANIEL GURSKIS, DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES, TAMARA LUCAS. [CHEERS] DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES, ROBERT FRIEDMAN, [CHEERS] DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS, ROBERT PREZANT, [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] HIS LAST COMMENCEMENT, BECAUSE HE’S LEAVING US TO GO TO SOUTHERN CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY. BOO. [ LAUGHTER ] DEAN OF THE MIMI EDWIN FELICIANO SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, GREG CANT. [APPLAUSE] AND WE ARE SO PLEASED THAT WITH US TONIGHT ARE EDWIN AND MIMI FELICIANO. WHERE ARE THEY? [APPLAUSE] DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF NURSING, JANICE SMOLOWITZ DEAN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL, JOAN FICKE, DEAN OF LIBRARY SERVICES, JUDITH LIN HUNT, DEAN OF STUDENTS, MARGAREE COLEMAN-CARTER. [CHEERS] I NOW INVITE DR. FRANCIS CUSS, VICE CHAIR OF OUR BOARD OF TRUSTEES, TO BRING GREETINGS AND TO PRESENT OUR HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT. [APPLAUSE]>>WELL, GOOD>>EVENING, AND>>WELCOME. FOR 85 YEARS, MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY HAS EMBRACED GRADUATE EDUCATION AND PLAYED A SIGNIFICANT STATEWIDE ROLE IN PREPARING DISTINGUISHED PROFESSIONALS. IN THE 1930S, MONTCLAIR STATE WAS THE FIRST OF THE STATE COLLEGES TO OFFER MASTER’S DEGREES. IN THE 1990S, WE BECAME THE FIRST OF THE STATE COLLEGES TO BECOME A UNIVERSITY AND TO OFFER DOCTORAL DEGREES. AND, LAST YEAR, WE BECAME THE FIRST OF THE STATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO BE DESIGNATED A DOCTORAL RESEARCH UNIVERSITY. THESE HISTORIC CHANGES HAVE TRANSFORMED MONTCLAIR STATE AT EVERY STEP, ESTABLISHING AND DISTINGUISHING OUR STATURE AS AN INSTITUTION IN THE FIELDS FOR WHICH YOU ARE BEING AWARDED DEGREES TODAY. YOU HAVE BECOME PART OF THE HISTORY OF MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY. AND, ON BEHALF OF THE UNIVERSITY’S TRUSTEES, I CONGRATULATE YOU AND WISH YOU A FULFILLING FUTURE. IT IS NOW MY HONOR TO PRESENT OUR HONORARY DEGREE RECIPIENT. MAY I ASK YOU TO DIRECT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE VIDEO SCREEN. [VIDEO PLAYS]>>SO I ACTUALLY WAS BORN IN CUBA IN A HOUSEHOLD WHERE I HEARD FROM MY PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS STORIES ABOUT, WHEN THEY WERE IN CUBA, THEY WERE ENTREPRENEURS AND HAD BUSINESSES. AND I WAS ALWAYS INTERESTED IN BUSINESS. A LOT OF FOLKS LEFT, FLEEING COMMUNISM. AND WHEN I WAS 3 YEARS OLD, MY FAMILY MOVED TO THE UNITED STATES TO MIAMI, FLORIDA, ARRIVING TO THIS COUNTRY WITH JUST CLOTHES ON OUR BACK AND A SUITCASE. AND, FORTUNATELY, THIS COUNTRY WELCOMED US WITH OPEN ARMS. BEING ABLE TO BE THE CEO OF A FORTUNE 250 COMPANY, IT’S REALLY A REMARKABLE EXPERIENCE. WHAT WE’RE KNOWN FOR IS PAYROLL, BUT WE’VE BRANCHED OUT INTO A NUMBER OF OTHER SERVICES FOR EMPLOYERS, INCLUDING BENEFITS ADMINISTRATION, TIME AND ATTENDANCE SYSTEMS, ANYTHING FROM HIRING AN EMPLOYEE TO TAKING THEM ALL THE WAY THROUGH RETIREMENT. I THINK OUR VOLUNTEERISM AND OUR PHILANTHROPY, I THINK, ARE A WAY OF GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITIES THAT WE SERVE BECAUSE WE WANT STRONG, VIBRANT COMMUNITIES. ♪♪ EDUCATION, IT’S WHAT OPENS UP THE DOORS TO OPPORTUNITY IN THIS COUNTRY. I HOPE MY PREDECESSORS BELIEVE IN, AND IT’S SOMETHING MY FOUNDATION IS A BIG SPONSOR OF. MY EXPERIENCE REALLY HAS BEEN AN AMAZING ONE, REALLY ONE TO DESCRIBE REALLY AS THE AMERICAN DREAM. ♪♪ [ VIDEO ENDS] ♪♪ [APPLAUSE]>>I WOULD ASK PROVOST GINGERICH AND THE GRAND MARSHAL TO PLEASE ESCORT CARLOS RODRIGUES TO THE LECTERN. CARLOS RODRIGUEZ, AS PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF ADP, YOU LEAD ONE OF THE LARGEST AND MOST TRUSTED PROVIDERS OF BUSINESS SERVICES, BUSINESS ANALYTICS AND COMPLIANCE EXPERTISE IN THE WORLD. YOUR JOURNEY TO THIS POSITION OF IMPORTANCE AND ACHIEVEMENT BEGAN WHEN, AS A BOY, YOU EMIGRATED FROM CUBA WITH YOUR PARENTS, WHO SOUGHT TO PROVIDE A BETTER LIFE FOR THEIR FAMILY. YOU PURSUED YOUR EDUCATION WITH DILIGENCE, EARNING BACHELOR OF ARTS AND MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DEGREES FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY. SINCE JOINING ADP IN 1999, YOU HAVE SERVED IN A NUMBER OF EXECUTIVE ROLES AND HAVE BEEN PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER SINCE 2011. YOU CHAIR ADP’S EXECUTIVE DIVERSITY COUNCIL, ARE A MEMBER OF WORLD 50, A COLLABORATIVE ORGANIZATION OF GLOBAL EXECUTIVES, SERVE ON THE BOARD OF HUBBELL INC. AND ARE A MEMBER OF BOTH THE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE AND THE ECONOMIC CLUB OF NEW YORK. YOU HAVE GIVEN BACK TO THE COUNTRY THAT NURTURED YOUR SUCCESS, SITTING ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE A.T. CHILDREN’S PROJECT, AN ORGANIZATION THAT RAISES AWARENESS AND FUNDS FOR A RARE GENETIC DISEASE, AND YOU HAVE PARTICIPATED IN NUMEROUS OTHER CHARITABLE ENDEAVORS THROUGHOUT THE REGION AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY. YOU HAVE GIVEN YOUR TIME TO SPEAK TO AND SUPPORT THE EFFORTS OF STUDENTS AT MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY, AND, UNDER YOUR LEADERSHIP, ADP HAS CONTINUED ITS LONG-TERM CORPORATE SUPPORT FOR THE UNIVERSITY. IN RECOGNITION OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS, MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY IS PROUD TO BESTOW UPON YOU, CARLOS RODRIGUEZ, THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS, HONORIS CAUSA. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, PRESIDENT COLE. BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY, AND UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE PRESIDENT AND FACULTY, I CONFER UPON YOU THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS, HONORIS CAUSA WITH ALL THE RIGHTS, DUTIES, PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES THEREUNTO APPERTAINING, OF WHICH THIS DIPLOMA IS THE WRITTEN WITNESS. [APPLAUSE] CONGRATULATIONS.>>THANK YOU,>>DR. CUSS FOR THOSE>>KIND WORDS AND>>THAT KIND>>INTRODUCTION. AND I THANK YOU FOR THIS RECOGNITION. I’M TRULY HONORED. PRESIDENT COLE, DEAN FICKE, FACULTY, STUDENTS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF THE CLASS OF 2017, IT’S WONDERFUL TO BE WITH YOU HERE TONIGHT. TO THE GRADUATES, CONGRATULATIONS. YOU HAVE SO MUCH TO BE PROUD OF. TAKE IT ALL IN TODAY, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT MANY OF YOU, LIKE ME, IT WILL BE BACK TO WORK TOMORROW. [ LAUGHTER ] BUT I THINK THAT’S A GOOD THING. I AM REMINDED THAT THIS YEAR MARKS THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL’S CREATION. TO THE ADMINISTRATION AND TO DEAN FICKE, LET ME THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU’VE DONE TO BUILD THIS INCREDIBLE MELTING POT FOR TALENT HERE IN OUR STATE. I CAN THINK OF NO BETTER SIGN OF THAT SUCCESS THAN OUR GATHERING HERE TONIGHT. WE CELEBRATE WITH MORE THAN 500 GRADUATES IN THIS ROOM WHO ARE PREPARED TO MAKE AN EVEN GREATER DIFFERENCE IN THE WORKFORCE BENEFITING THEIR FAMILIES, THEIR COMMUNITIES, OUR WORLD. LET ME ALSO SAY, AS THE CEO OF A NEW JERSEY-BASED FORTUNE 250 COMPANY, I AM PROFOUNDLY GRATEFUL FOR THE IMPACT MONTCLAIR STATE HAS HAD IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF TALENT HERE IN OUR STATE. AT ADP, WE’VE BEEN PROUD TO EMPLOY MANY MONTCLAIR STATE GRADUATES OVER THE YEARS, MANY WHO ARE WITH OUR COMPANY TODAY. AND I’M THANKFUL FOR THE ROLE MONTCLAIR STATE PLAYS IN OUR COMMUNITIES. IN PARTICULAR, ITS COMMITMENT TO HELPING HISPANIC STUDENTS SUCCESSFULLY NAVIGATE THE PATH TO COLLEGE AND THE OVERARCHING COMMITMENT OF THE UNIVERSITY TO HELPING FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS SUCCEED. [CHEERS] THAT — THAT IS SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. AND I SAY THAT BECAUSE I’VE LIVED IT. I AM ONE OF ONLY A HANDFUL OF CEOS IN THIS COUNTRY THAT IS A CUBAN-AMERICAN IMMIGRANT. [CHEERS] I SEE WE HAVE SOME FUTURE ONES IN THE AUDIENCE. [ LAUGHTER ] WHEN I WAS A YOUNG BOY IN CUBA, MY FAMILY WAS DOING QUITE WELL. WE LIVED A COMFORTABLE MIDDLE-CLASS LIFESTYLE. MY PARENTS OWNED A SMALL BUSINESS AND HAD SEVERAL RENTAL PROPERTIES. BUT THINGS IN CUBA BEGAN TO CHANGE, SO WE CAME TO AMERICA. MY FAMILY, ONCE REASONABLY SUCCESSFUL, NOW STRUGGLED IN A NEW COUNTRY WITH A NEW LANGUAGE. BUT AMERICA WELCOMED US. MY FATHER TRY WAITING TABLES, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS LIMITED ENGLISH SKILLS, HE TOOK A JOB DELIVERING ROOM SERVICE IN A MIAMI HOTEL. MY MOM FOUND WORK AS A CLERK FOR A TRUCKING COMPANY. WHILE MY PARENTS HADN’T GONE TO COLLEGE THEMSELVES, THEY BELIEVED DEEPLY IN THE POWER OF EDUCATION. AND BECAUSE I DID WELL IN HIGH SCHOOL, I WAS FORTUNATE TO BE ABLE TO FOLLOW NOW OLDER BROTHER TO COLLEGE AT HARVARD. THERE I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF GENEROUS DONORS WHO HELPED ME PAY FOR MY EDUCATION. WITHOUT THAT SUPPORT, WHO KNOWS WHERE LIFE WOULD HAVE TAKEN ME, PROBABLY NOT STANDING HERE IN FRONT OF YOU TODAY. AFTER FINISHING MY BACHELOR’S DEGREE, MUCH LIKE YOU, I DECIDED IT WOULD BE HELPFUL TO GET A GRADUATE DEGREE. SO I APPLIED TO RETURN TO HARVARD TO GET AN MBA AND, FORTUNATELY, THEY WELCOMED ME BACK. I’LL BE HONEST. I HAD A LOT OF LUCK ALONG THE WAY. BUT WHEN I LOOK BACK ON MY LIFE, THERE ARE A COUPLE OF OTHER KEY INGREDIENTS THAT MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. THERE ARE THE — THEY ARE THE CLOSEST THINGS TO WORDS OF WISDOM THAT I HAVE TO SHARE WITH TODAY. IT STARTS WITH EDUCATION, WHICH I DON’T NEED TO TELL YOU TO GET. BUT I CAN ENDORSE THE DECISION YOU’VE MADE. YOU’VE DONE THE RIGHT THING, AND I GET THAT IT WASN’T EASY. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE GRADUATE DEGREE THAT YOU’LL HOLD IN YOUR HANDS IN JUST A MOMENT CAME AT THE PRICE OF LONG DAYS AND LATE NIGHTS. MANY OF YOU ARE WORKING A JOB AND RAISING A FAMILY. AND GOING TO SCHOOL AT NIGHT IN OUR 21ST CENTURY AMERICA THIS IS AN INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENT. THAT TAKES RESILIENCE. WHAT IT ALSO TAKES IS A COMMITMENT TO WORKING HARD. FOR ME, EDUCATION OPENED DOORS THAT I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE. BUT IT WAS HARD WORK THAT HELPED ME WALK THROUGH THOSE DOORS. IN THE WORK WORLD, PEOPLE ALWAYS WANT TO KNOW, HOW DO YOU GET AHEAD? NETWORKING IS IMPORTANT. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IS IMPORTANT. BUT FOR ME, HARD WORK IS MORE IMPORTANT. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE. THE JOURNEY YOU’VE BEEN ON TO GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY HAS BEEN ONE OF EXERTION. THE BALANCING ACT OF GOING TO SCHOOL AND WORKING A JOB REQUIRES DRIVE. CONSIDER THIS TRAINING FOR YOUR FUTURE. DON’T TAKE YOUR FOOT OFF THE GAS. FOR EVERY SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR YOU SEE, DON’T BE FOOLED. THAT SPARK OF AN INITIAL IDEA WAS CRUCIAL. BUT EVEN MORE SO, THE COMMITMENT TO HARD WORK OVER THE LONG RUN TO GIVE FLIGHT TO THAT SPARK TOOK PERHAPS EVEN MORE ENERGY AND DRIVE. THERE’S AN OLD SAYING: OPPORTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK. [ LAUGHTER ] WHEN I REFLECT ON OUR STORY OF GROWTH AT ADP, HARD WORK, OLD-FASHIONED AND CLICHE AS IT SOUNDS IS AT THE HEART OF IT. IT’S WHAT BUILT OUR BUSINESS. YOU MAY NOT KNOW THIS, BUT ADP A COMPANY THAT TODAY EMPLOYS NEARLY 60,000 WOMEN AND MEN AROUND THE WORLD, STARTED AS A ONE-PERSON BUSINESS ABOVE AN ICE CREAM SHOP RIGHT HERE IN PATERSON, NEW JERSEY. FIVE YEARS AFTER OPENING, OUR COMPANY GREW FROM HAVING ONE CLIENT TO 200. TODAY, WE HAVE OVER 650,000. IT WAS OLD-FASHIONED SHOE LEATHER WORK THAT YOU CAN’T FAKE WHICH BUILT OUR BUSINESS IT WAS ABOUT TAKING A NOVEL IDEA, IN THIS CASE, OUTSOURCING PAYROLL, CREATING A SERVICE AROUND IT, AND BRINGING IT TO AS MANY BUSINESSES AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE IN A SHORT WINDOW OF TIME. TODAY STAYING AHEAD OF THE WORLD AS IT CHANGES QUICKLY REQUIRES THAT SAME FOCUS. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IT’S A FITTING PHILOSOPHY. WE HANDLE THE PAYCHECKS OF ALMOST 40 MILLION WORKERS WORLDWIDE. WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF UNDERSTANDING THE VALUE OF HARD WORK. WHILE THE VALUE OF HARD WORK IS LIVED EACH AND EVERY DAY AT ADP, IT’S SOMETHING I LEARNED AS A VERY YOUNG AGE AS A KID. IT’S THE REALITY THAT EDUCATION CAN OPEN DOORS FOR ANYONE NO MATTER HOW OR WHERE THEY CAME FROM. AND WITH HARD WORK, YOU CAN REALIZE THE OPPORTUNITY. THE FACT THAT I’M STANDING HERE TODAY BEFORE YOU VALIDATES EVERYTHING MY PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS FELT ABOUT THIS COUNTRY. DESPITE THE HARDSHIPS, THEY BELIEVED THAT THE OPPORTUNITIES PRESENTED BY AMERICA REWARDED THOSE WHO WORKED HARD AND GOT A GOOD EDUCATION. EDUCATION AND HARD WORK. AS MUCH AS WE QUESTION WHETHER THE AMERICAN DREAM IS STILL ALIVE, THIS AT ITS CORE IS IT. IT’S THE REALITY THAT EDUCATION CAN OPEN DOORS FOR ANYONE NO MATTER HOW OR WHERE THEY STARTED IN LIFE. AND WITH HARD WORK, YOU CAN REALIZE THAT OPPORTUNITY. WITH THESE TWO ELEMENTS AS THE FOUNDATION, LET ME SHARE MY FINAL PIECE OF ADVICE WHICH I’VE LEARNED FROM MY OWN LIFE. AND THAT’S DON’T SELL YOURSELF SHORT. THERE’S A LOT OF CYNICISM IN OUR WORLD TODAY, A TEMPTATION TO BELIEVE THAT THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST YOU. DON’T SUCCUMB TO THAT LINE OF THINKING. THE EXPECTATION FOR SOMEONE IN MY SITUATION, THE SON OF TWO IMMIGRANT PARENTS LIVING IN SOUTH FLORIDA IN THE 1960S WAS PROBABLY NOT TO BE THE CEO OF A FORTUNE 250 COMPANY. DON’T GET ME WRONG. I THINK I COULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY DOING A LOT OF OTHER THINGS. BUT IF I HAD FOLLOWED SOCIETY’S EXPECTATIONS, I MAY HAVE MISSED A LOT OF OPPORTUNITIES THAT I’VE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE. DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT. WHAT DOES THAT LOOK LIKE IN PRACTICE? IN THE WORKPLACE, GET TO KNOW THE LEADERS. ASK THE SMART BUT TOUGH QUESTIONS. DEMAND TO BE NOTICED. LET ME SAY THAT AS A CEO, I VALUE THESE QUESTIONS AND THIS KIND OF ENGAGEMENT FROM MY COLLEAGUES. IT’S ONE OF THE MOST GRATIFYING PARTS OF MY JOB. DON’T WAIT FOR THE OPPORTUNITIES TO PRESENT THEMSELVES. SEEK THEM OUT. AND WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY ARISES, SAY YES. IT’S AN OLD ADAGE IN SALES, BUT THEY ARE PRETTY GOOD WORDS TO LIVE BY. ALWAYS SAY YES UNTIL YOU HAVE TO SAY NO. BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITY TO GO BEYOND. AND, AS YOU’RE WORKING TO GET AHEAD TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE YOU, DON’T FORGET ABOUT THOSE BEHIND YOU. I BEGAN WITH A NOTION OF MONTCLAIR STATE AS A BEACON OF HOPE FOR SO MANY FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENTS LIKE MYSELF. YOUR EDUCATION HAS EMPOWERED YOU TO HAVE AN IMPACT. USE IT TO HELP ANOTHER NAVIGATE THE PATH TO A PLACE OF OPPORTUNITY. WHETHER IT’S THAT NUDGE OR A SIMPLE VOTE OF CONFIDENCE THAT LEADS TO A COLLEGE APPLICATION OR AN INTERNSHIP FOR SOMEONE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD OR BEING A MENTOR IN THE WORKPLACE. AS EACH OF US IN THIS ROOM PREPARES TO WALK THROUGH A NEW DOOR AHEAD, OPEN A DOOR BEHIND YOU. IN CLOSING, GRADUATES OF THE CLASS OF 2017, CONGRATULATIONS. I WISH YOU THE BEST PROFESSIONALLY. I ALSO WISH YOU MUCH HAPPINESS AND FULFILLMENT. AND THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME BE PART OF THIS VERY SPECIAL EVENING. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, MR. RODRIGUEZ. THAT WAS A WONDERFUL — A WONDERFUL MESSAGE. I NOW CALL UPON PROFESSOR DOMENICA DESIDERIOSCIOLI, OUR GRAND MARSHAL WHO, AFTER 51 YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE UNIVERSITY, AS A MEMBER OF THE FACULTY IN THE DEPARTMENT OF EXERCISE SCIENCE AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION, IS RETIRING AT THE END OF THIS ACADEMIC YEAR. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, DR. DESI. [APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, DR. COLE. IT HAS BEEN AN HONOR TO SERVE THE UNIVERSITY AND TO BE CHOSEN AS GRAND MARSHAL FOR THIS AUSPICIOUS OCCASION, BUT IT IS AN EVEN GREATER HONOR FOR ME TO PRESENT THE DISTINGUISHED FACULTY OF MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY. WILL THE FACULTY PLEASE RISE. [APPLAUSE]>>I CALL UPON PROVOST — YES, YOU MAY BE SEATED. [ LAUGHTER ] I CALL UPON PROVOST WILLARD GINGERICH, AS WE BEGIN THE CONFERMENT OF DEGREES. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] I ASK YOU IN RESPECT FOR YOUR FELLOW GRADUATES THAT ALL CANDIDATES PLEASE REMAIN SEATED UNTIL ALL HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED, AFTER WHICH I WILL FORMALLY CONFER YOUR DEGREES.>>PRESIDENT COLE, IT IS MY PRIVILEGE TO REPORT TO YOU THAT THE CANDIDATES HERE ASSEMBLED, WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE CURRICULA OFFERED BY THE SEVERAL COLLEGES AND SCHOOLS OF MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY, HAVE BEEN SO CERTIFIED BY THE UNIVERSITY REGISTRAR, AND THEY ARE RECOMMENDED BY THE FACULTY TO BE AWARDED DEGREES IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS. [CHEERS] I AM PLEASED TO INTRODUCE DR. JOAN FICKE, DEAN OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL TO PRESENT THE UNIVERSITY’S DOCTORAL CANDIDATES. [APPLAUSE]>>I CALL UPON>>DEAN LUCAS AND THE>>DOCTORCAL>>CANDIDATES FROM>>THE COLLEGE OF>>EDUCATION AND>>HUMAN SERVICES. THE CANDIDATE FOR EDUCATION IN PEDAGOGY AND PHILOSOPHY: JULIA JACKSON, HOODED BY PROFESSOR MAUGHN GREGORY. [APPLAUSE] [CHEERS] THE CANDIDATES FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN COUNSELING: WILLIAM BROOKS BAKER, HOODED BY PROFESSOR LESLIE KOOYMAN. [CHEERS] RICHARD L. BROWN, HOODED BY PROFESSOR DANA HELLER LEVITT. [APPLAUSE] DAWN M. HORTON, HOODED BY PROFESSOR W. MATTHEW SHURTS. THE CANDIDATES FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN COUNSELOR EDUCATION: CONNIE S. DUCAINE, HOODED BY PROFESSOR DANA HELLER LEVITT. [APPLAUSE] KATHY A. SHOEMAKER, SOON TO BE HOODED BY PROFESSOR DANA HELLER LEVITT. [APPLAUSE] THE CANDIDATES FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN FAMILY STUDIES: DAVID T. LARDIER JR., HOODED BY PROFESSOR ROBERT J. REID. CARLY A. NACER, HOODED BY PROFESSOR GOLDFARB. [APPLAUSE] MUHAMMAD HASSAN RAZA, HOODED BY PROFESSOR GOLDFARB. [APPLAUSE] I CALL UPON DEAN FRIEDMAN AND THE DOCTORAL CANDIDATES FROM THE COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES. DEAN FRIEDMAN. THE CANDIDATES FOR THE DOCTOR OF AUDIOLOGY: REENA BLOOM, HOODED BY PROFESSOR JOAN BESING. [APPLAUSE] ASHLEY S. HELTHALL, HOODED BY PROFESSOR JOAN BESING. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] HOLLY LOVERING, HOODED BY PROFESSOR JOAN BESING. [APPLAUSE] KELLY ERIN CAVANAUGH, HOODED BY PROFESSOR ILSE WAMBACQ. [APPLAUSE] ANNA COSGROVE, HOODED BY PROFESSOR ILSE WAMBACQ. [APPLAUSE] ROBERT SHELL, HOODED BY PROFESSOR ILSE WAMBACQ. [APPLAUSE] TALIA MIZRAHI, HOODED BY PROFESSOR JACLYN SPITZER. [APPLAUSE] MEGAN EITEL, HOODED BY PROFESSOR FAITH MOGILA. [APPLAUSE] MELANIE PANGILINAN, HOODED BY PROFESSOR FAITH MOGILA. [APPLAUSE] MIRIAM SAPOSH, HOODED BY PROFESSOR FAITH MOGILA. [APPLAUSE] I CALL UPON DEAN PREZANT AND THE DOCTORAL CANDIDATES FROM THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS: THE CANDIDATES FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: NANZHU LI, HOODED BY PROFESSOR YANG DENG. [APPLAUSE] ROSITA G. NUNEZ, HOODED BY PROFESSOR STEFANIE BRACHFELD. [APPLAUSE] NATALIE SHERWOOD, HOODED BY PROFESSOR MEIYIN WU. [APPLAUSE] PRESIDENT COLE, UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF THE FACULTY, I HAVE THE HONOR TO PRESENT THESE CANDIDATES FOR THE DEGREES OF DOCTOR OF AUDIOLOGY, DOCTOR OF EDUCATION, AND DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>THANK YOU, DEAN FICKE. I MENTIONED TO THE STUDENT WHOSE HAT FELL OFF THAT IF YOUR HAT FALLS OFF, YOU HAVE TO START ALL OVER AND DO IT AGAIN. [LAUGHTER] NOT REALLY. NOT REALLY. BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY AND IN RECOGNITION OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENT IN FULFILLING THE CURRICULA PRESCRIBED, I CONFER UPON YOU, AS EARNED, THE DESIGNATED DOCTORAL DEGREE, WITH ALL THE RIGHTS, DUTIES, PRIVILEGES, AND IMMUNITIES THEREUNTO APPERTAINING, OF WHICH THE DIPLOMA IS THE WRITTEN WITNESS. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] CONGRATULATIONS, DOCTORS.>>CONGRATULATIONA PLEASE BE SEATED. PRESIDENT COLE, IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO STATE THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE GRADUATING CLASS OF 2017 WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE UNIVERSITY’S REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE STAND READY TO BE PRESENTED TO YOU BY THEIR DEANS. DEAN GREG CANT WILL PRESENT THE CANDIDATES FROM THE FELICIANO SCHOOL OF BUSINESS. [APPLAUSE]>>WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE IN THE FELICIANO SCHOOL OF BUSINESS PLEASE STAND AND BE READY TO RECEIVE YOUR INDIVIDUAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT. [ANNOUNCING NAMES]>>DEAN DANIEL GURSKIS WILL PRESENT THE CANDIDATES FROM THE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS.>>WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE IN THE COLLEGE OF THE ARTS PLEASE STAND AND BE READY TO RECEIVE YOUR INDIVIDUAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT. [ANNOUNCING NAMES]>>DEAN ROBERT PREZANT WILL PRESENT THE CANDIDATES FROM THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS.>>WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE IN THE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PLEASE STAND AND BE READY TO RECEIVE YOUR INDIVIDUAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT. [ANNOUNCING NAMES]>>DEAN TAMARA LUCAS WILL PRESENT THE CANDIDATES FROM THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE IN THE COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES PLEASE STAND AND BE READY TO RECEIVE YOUR INDIVIDUAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT. [ANNOUNCING NAMES] [ANNOUNCING NAMES]>>DEAN LUCAS WILL NOW TESTIFY CONCERNING THE CERTIFICATION OF MEMBERS OF THE CLASS TO TEACH.>>WILL THE MEMBERS OF THE CLASS OF 2017 WHO PARTICIPATED IN A TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAM PLEASE RISE. OKAY. PRESIDENT COLE, IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE TO STATE THAT THE MEMBERS OF THIS CLASS HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THEIR ACADEMIC MAJORS, A PROFESSIONAL SEQUENCE, AND THE APPROPRIATE EXAMINATION AND ARE CERTIFIED AND QUALIFIED TO TEACH IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY. [CHEERS]>>DEAN ROBERT FRIEDMAN WILL PRESENT THE CANDIDATES FROM THE COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES.>>WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE IN THE COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES PLEASE STAND AND BE READY TO RECEIVE YOUR INDIVIDUAL ACKNOWLEDGMENT. [ANNOUNCING NAMES] [ANNOUNCING NAMES]>>PRESIDENT COLE,>>I AM PLEASED TO>>PRESENT THE CANDIDATES WHO HAVE QUALIFIED FOR THE DEGREES OF MASTER OF ARTS, MASTER OF FINE ARTS, MASTER OF ARTS IN TEACHING, MASTER OF EDUCATION, MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH, AND MASTER OF SCIENCE. WILL THE CANDIDATES FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE PLEASE RISE. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>>YOU WANT THOSE>>DEGREES? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY AND IN RECOGNITION OF YOUR ACHIEVEMENT IN FULFILLING THE CURRICULA PRESCRIBED, I CONFER UPON YOU, AS EARNED, THE DESIGNATED MASTER’S DEGREE WITH ALL THE RIGHTS, DUTIES, PRIVILEGES, AND IMMUNITIES THEREUNTO APPERTAINING, OF WHICH THE DIPLOMA IS THE WRITTEN WITNESS. CONGRATULATIONS, MASTERS! [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] YOU DID IT. PLEASE BE SEATED. CONGRATULATIONS. WELL DONE. THIS CONCLUDES THE MONTCLAIR STATE UNIVERSITY COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES. I WOULD ASK EVERYONE TO REMAIN SEATED UNTIL THE RECESSIONAL IS COMPLETE. CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN. [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE] ♪♪ ♪♪