A Time to Celebrate the Graduates: GCU’s 2021 Commencement

On May 19-20, Georgian Court University will hold Commencement 2021 exercises on its Lakewood campus for students from the classes of May 2021, December 2020, and August 2020.

Four ceremonies will allow an in-person experience for each graduate and limited guests, while observing New Jersey COVID-19 requirements for social distancing and masks. The ceremonies will be livestreamed, as will a virtual Baccalaureate Service on May 18. Information on how to view the virtual and livestream events will be available on the commencement website.

The graduates represent 11 states, a territory, and eight countries, and range in age from 18 to 90. Marion Thomas, believed to be the oldest graduate in Georgian Court history, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies last December, and plans to attend the May ceremony.

In addition, the university will award a posthumous degree to late GCU nursing student Britani Kramer, who would have graduated with the nearly 100 B.S.N. students who will get their degrees this month. The class includes several men, underscoring the continued growth of male nurses in the profession.

Two speakers will address graduates, faculty, and guests: Alicia Cook ’08, best-selling poet, award-winning activist, and songwriter, during the Wednesday, May 19, morning ceremony; and Judith M. Persichilli, RN, commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, at the May 19 afternoon ceremony.

Honorary degrees will be awarded on Thursday, May 20, to two people who are both outstanding in their chosen fields and in community service, who will also serve as Commencement speakers for their respective ceremonies. They are Annie Hanna Cestra ’73, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, and Marlene Laó-Collins, executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton.

To read more about our graduates, speakers, and award recipients please click here.