RCBC to hold three graduation ceremonies next week
Thursday, May 09, 2019

three female students in graduation garb

(Pictured from left: President's Award winner Caris Norway, RCBC's 2019 Valedictorian D'Jana Wyllis and President's Award winner Lauren Turse)

Rowan College at Burlington County (RCBC) will honor more than 1,300 graduates at its 49th Annual Commencement ceremonies, which continues the college’s yearlong celebration of its 50th year.

“Graduation is a wonderful time to celebrate our students’ accomplishments of the past, present and future,” RCBC President Dr. Michael A. Cioce said. “Our graduates have worked tirelessly to achieve their goals, and we look forward to honoring them.”

All ceremonies will occur outside on the Mount Laurel Campus Quad in front of the state-of-the-art Student Success Center with live streaming available in the Student Success Center and online at rcbc.edu.

The college is holding one ceremony for Health Sciences students at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 16. On the following day, two ceremonies will take place. The Liberal Arts ceremony will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, May 17, and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and Liberal Arts and Sciences ceremony will occur at 2:00 p.m. on that same day. All events are sponsored by Whole Foods Market, which is providing refreshments for all three ceremonies.

“Rowan College at Burlington County is a tremendous resource for our county that provides access to affordable high-quality education,” Freeholder Director Tom Pullion said. “On behalf of the the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders, I congratulate all of the graduates and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments.”

This year’s keynote speakers are Deborah Heart and Lung Center CEO Joseph Chirichella for the Health Sciences ceremony and Robert C. Messina Jr., the college's longest-serving president from 1987 to 2012, for both of Friday's ceremonies.

140 graduates will continue their education at RCBC through the college’s innovative 3+1 program, which allows students to earn a degree through Rowan University, while attending classes on RCBC’s campus at a significantly lower cost. These students are on their way to join the first 92 3+1 students who have saved $3.3 million while earning their associate and bachelor’s degrees.

Chemical Engineering and Physics student, D’Jana Wyllis, who emigrated from the Caribbean island of Domenica, will be honored as this year’s valedictorian. She has been active on campus and in her studies and earned distinction as a finalist for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke transfer scholarship. Wyllis plans to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a degree in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals.

Additionally, Caris Norway and Lauren Turse will receive the President’s Award for their achievements. Norway received the college’s Althea E. Albert Nursing Award, the New Jersey League of Nursing Scholarship Award and recently passed the licensure exam to become a registered nurse. After completing her bachelor’s degree, Norway hopes to serve as a pediatric nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Turse will earn three associate degrees in Biology, English and Psychology before she earns one high school diploma next month.