Felician College conferred over 540 degrees to worthy students on Sunday, May 18 during its 50th annual commencement exercises. The ceremony was held in the John J. Breslin, Jr. Auditorium on the Lodi campus and began at 3:00 p.m. During the ceremony, Dr. Anne M. Prisco, President of Felician College, presented the honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, to Rochelle R. Hendricks, New Jersey Secretary of Higher Education. Secretary Hendricks also gave the commencement address.
Secretary Hendricks was named the first Secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey in 2011. She is responsible for policy and program development to enhance the capacity and competitiveness of the State’s higher education reform agenda. Prior to her position as Secretary, she was the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education and was instrumental in helping with the Governor’s education reform plans, including the creation and appointment of the Educator Effectiveness Task Force.
Secretary Hendricks told the graduating class, “This is a place where values matter and preparation for leadership and service to the community, nation and the world are as important as career readiness and job placement.” She continued by listing the nine Felician-Franciscan core values in which education at the college are grounded: respect for human dignity, compassion, transformation, solidarity with the poor, justice and peace, reverence, diversity, service, and joy. “While there is rapid change under way, there are also some things – like the Felician-Franciscan values – that are transcendent and timeless,” Secretary Hendricks went on to say.
Dr. Prisco delivered the President’s Charge to the Class of 2014. During her speech, she urged the graduates to adhere to the school’s values. “In all you do, I ask that you act with competence, character, and compassion. Live courageously, be open to transformation, so that you will ask not only why, but why not?”