Felician University Marks 60th Commencement Exercises at American Dream with DCA Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suarez

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – On Thursday, May 23rd, Felician University marked the university’s 60th Commencement Exercises by honoring the 608 graduates of the Class of 2024 during a ceremony at The Rink at American Dream. This is the third consecutive year that Felician University’s commencement was held at American Dream. The event drew over 2,000 attendees.

Jacquelyn A. Suarez, Esq., the newly appointed Commissioner of New Jersey’s Department of Community Affairs (DCA), received an honorary doctorate of humane letters and gave the commencement address. Commissioner Suarez had been appointed earlier in the week, succeeding Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver as Commissioner. Ms. Suarez had been serving as Acting Commissioner since September 2023 following the passing of the Lt. Governor.

After receiving her degree, Commissioner Suarez addressed the graduates, focusing on meeting challenges, seeking mentors, learning from mistakes, and, importantly, when working to make a difference, “knowing who you are, understanding what really matters to you, and setting goals that resonate with your spirit and soul should be the steady hum that lives in heart and mind.” She used the analogy of the bees’ paradoxical flight, which seemingly defies all laws of aerodynamics, to emphasize the importance of resilience and determination in the face of adversity. This was an apt reference given that the honeybee is the New Jersey state insect, and over 90% of Felician University students come from New Jersey and enter the workforce in the state.

The Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Services, Education, and Nursing conferred degrees. Seventeen doctorates in Counseling Psychology, Business Administration, and Nursing Practice were awarded. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees, representing over 60 majors and graduate programs across the university, showcased the diverse talents and interests of Felician students.

Felician University President Dr. Mildred A. Mihlon championed the graduates with a powerful message of belief and support, stating, “The world eagerly awaits the gifts you have to offer, and I am confident you will meet its challenges with courage, conviction, and unwavering resolve. As you embark on your respective paths, let your character be your compass, guiding you through both triumphs and trials with grace and dignity.”

Dr. Michael Markowitz, Vice President for Academic Affairs, presided over the event. Serena Marie Sebbio gave the 2024 valedictory speech, and salutatorian, Arianna DiMartino, gave the invocation.

Please visit www.felician.edu for more news and information about Felician University and a schedule of upcoming events, including open houses.


About Felician University

Felician University is more than just an institute of higher learning. It is a community that inspires and engages over 2,100 undergraduate, graduate, and adult education students through programs in the Schools of Arts & Sciences, Business & Information Sciences, Nursing, and Education. Our commitment to our students’ success is evident in our rankings and recognitions. Over the past five years, Felician University has consistently ranked 3rd among private institutions in New Jersey for best value according to payscale.com and has been recognized as the #1 Safest College Campus in New Jersey according to niche.com. Our Master of Science in Nursing program is ranked one of the best online graduate nursing programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. We are proud to be designated as a Military Friendly School (Gold Status) for the thirteenth year, a testament to our strong support for Veteran students. Our diversity as an HSI (Hispanic Serving Institution) and MSI (Minority Serving Institution), with underrepresented students comprising more than half of the student population, is a reflection of our inclusive and supporting environment. With campuses in Rutherford and Lodi, New Jersey, the Franciscan values of social justice, compassion, and respect for human dignity serve as an inclusive foundation for transforming the lives of tomorrow’s leaders. For more information, please visit https://felician.edu.

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