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Commencement Ceremony

Thursday, May 18, 2023 - 3 p.m.

Highlights from MCCC's 2023 Graduation


Messages to the graduating class of 2023

NOTE: Supplied video content, posted for the intent of well wishes to MCCC graduates, was prepared and appears here independent of Mercer County Community College.

Senator Cory Booker

Assemblyman Anthony S. Verrelli

Photo Highlights

Nursing Pinning Ceremony

EOF Honors Ceremony

Honors Convocation

2023 Commencement Ceremony Photo Gallery

Join your fellow graduates, proud family, friends, and MCCC community for an afternoon recognizing you for and celebrating your milestone achievement -- graduation from Mercer!

at CURE Arena
81 Hamilton Avenue
Trenton, NJ 08611
18 May
Commencement Ceremony May 18 at Cure Arena

Countdown to Commencement!

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Preparing For

Candidates for graduation participating in Commencement must wear official academic regalia (cap, gown, and hood) available at the college Book Store starting Monday, May 1.

Candidates must be cleared to graduate and show their Student ID to obtain the regalia set, yours to keep.

 Regalia Pickup at the MCCC Book Store(s) 

WEEK OF MAY 1:  Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WEEK OF MAY 8:  Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (James Kerney Campus 2 to 6 p.m.); Friday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WEEK OF MAY 15:  Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 9 a.m. to 12 noon

For more information regarding academic regalia, please visit the Book Store website.

Each candidate for graduation will receive 10 GUEST Tickets with cap and gown pickup at the college Book Store [see above].

(3 to 5 per graduate; in order to receive, must present MCCC Student ID)

  • Prior to Commencement day: Available at campus OneStop Centers beginning May 1 -- Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at West Windsor and until 4 p.m. at the James Kerney Campus.
  • Day of Commencement: Available on a “first come first served” basis at the CURE Arena Box Office beginning at 1:30 p.m.

PLEASE NOTE: Balloons are not permitted inside the Arena.

Graduation gowns are cut low enough in the front to show a shirt or top, even when you wear a hood. Best choices:

  • collared dress shirt and tie to display a professional appearance
  • scoop-neck top with a modest cut or a collared blouse

Tips for Wearing Your Cap, Gown, and Hood

  1. Adjust the gown so that it sits comfortably on your shoulders.
  2. Put the hood over your head with the velvet side up and the small, tapered end in front.
  3. Secure the hood so it doesn’t slip off. Use the cord on the front to secure the hood to a shirt button or use a safety pin to attach it to a blouse or dress.
  4. Let your colors show. Turn the colors outward and roll the velvet edge out as well so that the inside colors show.
  5. Place the cap on your head so that the point is lined up with the middle of your forehead. You may need to use some bobby pins or clips to keep it securely on your head.
  6. Fasten your tassel to the button on the top of the mortarboard. Initially, position your tassel on the right side. Eventually you will shift it to the left once your degree has been conferred.

for questions or concerns about the May 18 COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY.

for questions or concerns about ACADEMIC GRADUATION, such as whether or not needed transfer credits have yet posted.



3 p.m. Thursday, May 18 at CURE Arena (81 Hamilton Ave, Trenton, NJ 08611 [directions])

Graduates participating in the ceremony must check in at the CURE Arena by 1:30 p.m. (See below.)

For admission, every attendee will be required to present one of the following to CURE Arena staff at the entrance gate:

  • a valid MCCC ID
  • a printed MCCC Commencement entry ticket

[see for details on ticket distribution]

CURE Arena is off Route 129 on the corner of Hamilton Avenue and South Broad Street in the heart of Trenton [directions].

We encourage ride share, public transit, and carpooling whenever possible.

The venue has four parking lots -- opening at 1 p.m. -- within a short, safe walking distance:
enter Parking Lot 1 at Hamilton Avenue
enter Parking Lots 2 & 4 at South Broad Street
enter Parking Lot 11 at Market Street

Parking Lot #2 in front of Gate A is handicapped accessible (show decal/placard).


Rideshare drop off / pick up - Lot #2 / Gate A
>> Drivers must arrive 30 minutes prior to end of event to enter Lot #2 for pickup.
>> If your driver is NOT on-site 30 minutes prior to pickup, you MUST set your own pickup location to avoid traffic.

  • Balloons are not permitted inside the Arena.
  • For your safety and that of our guests, kindly refrain from bringing backpacks and other bulky items to the event. Such items will not be permitted in the ceremony area.
  • Alcohol consumption is prohibited on CURE Arena grounds -- the building as well as parking lots.

Candidates for graduation participating in the Commencement ceremony are required to check in at CURE Arena (main entrance / Parking Lot #2) by 1:30 p.m.

Participants should arrive dressed in their academic regalia (cap, gown, and hood) with tassel positioned on the right side of cap.

Participants will be guided to the staging area. The Processional lineup will begin at the CURE Arena loading dock.

Graduates needing assistance (seating, processional, etc.) or who have a disability prohibiting them from walking across the stage, please contact the Center for Inclusion, Transition and Accessibility at (609) 570-3422 by Monday, May 1, for special arrangements.

Handicapped seating areas will be available for guests.

Parking Lot #2 in front of Gate A is handicapped accessible (show decal/placard).

CURE Arena accessibility services

For those unable to attend the May 18 Commencement as well as other MCCC graduation-related ceremonies, most will be livestreamed online and recordings will be made available for future viewing.


Program / Participation

View PDF of the printed publication provided to all attendees.

Christian Joaquin Perez Mercer County Community College is pleased to announce Mr. Christian Joaquin Perez as the 2023 Commencement student speaker.

Christian is a member of Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. Elected president of the Student Government Association (SGA) for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years, he passionately promoted student clubs and programming events designed to revitalize our college community following the pandemic.

Christian has represented MCCC’s students at the National Legislative Summit; Higher Education Restart Advisory Group (HERAG), established by the NJ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education; New Jersey Council of County Colleges Student and Alumni Committee; and MCCC’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Taskforce.

He has earned degrees in Communication - New Media (2023) and Game Programming (2022).

Congratulations Christian!

MCCC graduate Brad Butler II, CEO and founder of Brad Butler II & Associates LLC, is a nationally recognized motivational speaker, author, coach, mentor, and athlete. His goal in life is to motivate, inspire, and empower people all around the world to live their dreams. Known to his friends as “B-Rad,” Brad is an athlete turned school climate and culture specialist.

Following Class of 2009 graduation from Mercer, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Kean University and Master of Counseling from Pillar College.

Inspiring students, faculty, and staff alike, Brad has been featured on NBC, FOX networks, Verizon, and NCAA. He has earned numerous awards from federal and state officials, and has delivered addresses for several Fortune 500 companies and professional sports teams.

Learn more about Bradley Butler II here.

PROCESSIONAL (entering the ceremony)
Assembled at the Arena loading dock, candidates for graduation will line up two by two according to academic discipline. This double line will join the processional march following the faculty and be seated directly behind the faculty. (Follow the guidance of the ushers.)

Reminder: Candidates for graduation are to wear their tassels on the right side of their cap until their degrees are conferred.

RECESSIONAL (departing the ceremony)
Graduates will join the recessional march following the faculty. (Follow the guidance of the ushers.)

A professional photographer will take your picture alongside the College President and when you step off the stage.

Please return to your seat and remain there until all graduates have had their photos taken and the full ceremony has concluded. Ushers will be on hand to direct you through the procedure.

Because the ceremony is livestreamed, family picture taking is confined to designated areas.

Graduates and their guests are invited to join the celebratory activities along the concourse at CURE Arena. There will be picture stations, graduation merchandise, and concessions.

REMINDER: Balloons are not permitted inside the Arena.

Congratulations Graduates!

Graduates do not receive their actual diploma at Commencement. A packet of information will be provided that contains details about receiving your diploma.

Please refer to arrangements for your diploma from the Office of the Registrar.


EOF Honors Ceremony
Monday, May 15 – 10 a.m.
Conference Center (MC)

[not livestreamed]

Funeral Service Commencement
Monday, May 15 – 2 to 4 p.m.
Kelsey Theatre (TH)
View Recording

Nursing Pinning Ceremony
Tuesday, May 16 – 6 to 8 p.m.
Kelsey Theatre (TH)
View Recording

Honors Convocation Ceremony
Thursday, May 18 – 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Kelsey Theatre (TH)
View Recording

  2023 MCCC Commencement  
Thursday, May 18 – 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
CURE Arena (Trenton)
View Recording

Health Professions Pinning Ceremony
Monday, July 10 – 6 p.m.
Kelsey Theatre (TH)
View Recording