Skip to News / Media site navigationSkip to main content

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 2, 2011

(MAHWAH, NJ) – U. S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will speak at Ramapo College of New Jersey’s May 13 commencement ceremony.

She will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2011, the largest in the College’s history with 1,511 graduates, at the 10 a.m. ceremony.

“I am very pleased that Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court of the United States will serve as Ramapo College’s 2011 Commencement Speaker,” said Ramapo President Peter P. Mercer. “Justice Sotomayor has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to social justice and integrity and her personal and professional accomplishments clearly make her someone who will be an inspiration to our graduates.”

President Barack Obama nominated Sotomayor as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed the role August 8, 2009. Born in Bronx, New York, earned a B.A.  in 1976 from Princeton University, graduated summa cum laude and received the university’s highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984–1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009.

Graduating Class Speaker Brandon Martin, of South Brunswick, NJ, a Law and Society major, will address the gathering. After graduation, Martin will study higher education at Columbia University.

President Mercer will bestow the President’s Award of Merit to Dr. Timothy Finley ’94, an anesthesiologist at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck. Dr. Finley regularly travels to Haiti as a volunteer to offer his medical services and did so again recently, following the earthquake that devastated that country. He serves on the doctors’ counsel of Sending Our Love to Haiti, a local organization formed by churches and synagogues to sponsor fundraising events. He was honored recently, along with other physicians, by the UJA Federation of Northern New Jersey, for his work on behalf of the earthquake victims. In addition to his volunteer work, Dr. Finley has donated generously to Haiti earthquake relief and is undertaking a fundraising effort to provide scholarships for two Haitian students to attend Ramapo College.

For more information about commencement visit

To view the live feed of commencement visit

Member of the media who wish to cover the event may contact Anna Farneski at (201) 684-6844.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


Press Release Archives

| 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 |