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45th Annual Commencement and Nursing & Allied Health Pinning Ceremonies

U.S. Rep Tom MacArthur

Burlington County College will celebrate more than 1,200 graduates at its 45th annual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m. on the Pemberton campus. This will be the first Commencement Ceremony for BCC’s new President Paul Drayton and it will feature a keynote address delivered by the Honorable Tom MacArthur, Congressman for New Jersey’s 3rd District.

This year’s graduating class will be receiving a total of 1,313 degrees and certificates, with 91 students earning more than one degree or certificate. The top five most popular majors include liberal arts and sciences, liberal arts, business administration, nursing and criminal justice, in that order. The average class GPA is a 3.24, which means nearly 70 percent of graduates earned above a 3.0. The Class of 2015 also includes 59 international students who come from countries across the world as well as students from 17 different states.

The Nursing and Allied Health Pinning Ceremony, which includes the symbolic candle lighting ceremony and pinning of 176 graduates receiving degrees in dental hygiene, nursing, human services, diagnostic medical sonography, hearing instrument sciences, health information technology, and radiography, will take place on Thursday, May 14 at 6 p.m. under the graduation tent at the Pemberton campus. Kimberly Twaddell, MSN, APN-C, an acute care nurse practitioner for Trauma/Division of Surgery at Cooper University Hospital will be the guest speaker. Ms. Twaddell is a BCC alumna and adjunct faculty member.

The Class of 2015’s valedictorian is Kathleen Erin Keane, of Burlington Township. She will graduate with highest honors and two degrees, an Associate of Arts in Sociology and an Associate of Applied Science in Human Services. She plans on continuing her education at Rider University, which awarded her its highest transfer scholarship –$19,000 per year. She also received BCC’s Fran R. Pliskin Transfer Scholarship to assist with the costs of her bachelor’s degree program. She plans on studying psychology and working toward a career as a licensed professional counselor.

A few standout graduate stories will be highlighted during graduation. They include a veteran who worked to set an example for his family and helped fellow veterans achieve an education; a young man earning two associate degrees before he even graduates from high school; an outstanding scholar and community servant who was recently awarded one of only 15 Guistwhite Scholarships from the PTK honor society; and a student from South Korea who overcame a language barrier to graduate in one of BCC’s most competitive degree programs. 

Outgoing BCC Student Government Association President Fay Schwartz will present the Professor of the Year Award, which is chosen by the student body.

There will also be a live audio and video feed of the ceremony in the William K. McDaniel Integrated Learning Resource Center (library) room 102 and the Lewis M. Parker Center rooms 203 and 225. For those who are unable to attend, the ceremony will be streaming live online at www.bcc.edu.