Celebrating Academic Success at MCCC's James Kerney Campus


Hundreds of graduates and their family members packed the War Memorial's Patriots Theatre on May 8 to celebrate academic achievement at the James Kerney Campus. High spirits combined with heartfelt words of encouragement for those completing both credit and noncredit programs.

As Dr. Beverly Richardson opened the program she said 37 credit program graduates who began their studies at the James Kerney campus or took most of thir courses there would be among those honored. In the noncredit programs the honorees included 12 Career Training Institute graduates in the Culinary program and 61 in the Office Automation program.

Addressing the assembly were Michael Colon and his daugher Michelle, who completed MCCC's GED program together. Both have taken and passed their high school equivalency exams.

There were 59 students completing the GED program and 78 completing programs at the English Language Institute. These students came from countries worldwide. "Our reach extends throughout the world," Richardson said.

Student speakers included Timothy Petro, who earned an associate degree in Education, and Mauricio Maza who moved to the area from Ecuador and learned English skills at Mercer. Also telling their stories were Michael Colon and Michelle Colon, father and daughter, who completed the GED program together.

The keynote speaker was Ana Berdecia of the Center for the Positive Development of Urban Children at Thomas Edison State College. She is a Mercer gradaute who credits the college with helping her overcome odds that led her to a lifetime goal -- earning her bachelor's and master's degrees. She spoke of each person's talents coming as seeds that must develop in good soil so they can become what they were meant to be. "Each of you is designed to be something unique. Your seed is unique in the world."

The event featured MCCC Assistant Dean Don Jones, an accomplished singer, as master of ceremonies. Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer lent his words of support, as did County Executive Brian Hughes, who shook every student's hand as the award certificates were handed out.

Seven student scholarship recipients were recognized by MCCC Foundation Board Chair Timothy Losch.

MCCC President Patricia Donohue said the awardees should look back on their experience at Mercer as a series of successes, and look toward the future as one where they will "give back to the community."

After the ceremony all enjoyed refreshments prepared by James Kerney Campus culinary students.

More photos here.

More here about the programs and services offered at the James Kerney Campus in downtown Trenton.

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