Montclair State University held its 2013 Commencement exercises at the Izod Center at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Sports Complex on Friday, May 24. In a ceremony presided over by Montclair State President Susan A. Cole, the University conferred 4,320 degrees in science and mathematics, humanities and social sciences, business, the arts and education to baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degree candidates. The class of 2013, the largest in University history, includes 3,273 undergraduates and 1,047 graduate students.
Award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson delivered the Commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree. Merkerson has received three NAACP Image Awards for her 16-year role as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the hit television series Law & Order. She won both Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her work in the 2005 HBO film Lackawanna Blues.After receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University, Merkerson urged the members of the Class of 2013 to “keep your eyes open–don’t miss a thing. You are at a moment of endless possibilities in your life.”
In her remarks, Cole said, “the story of today’s Commencement is the realization of the extraordinary growth of Montclair State University over recent years. Today’s 4,320 baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degree recipients represent a 100 percent increase over the 15 years of my presidency. In and of itself, the size and consistency of this increase is a remarkable achievement for the University and for its superb faculty, but its real importance is in the graduates themselves, well-prepared to exercise leadership, creativity and innovation in the sciences, health professions, business, government, public service, the arts and education. These graduates are our endowment gift to the state and the nation.”