Skip to News / Media site navigationSkip to main content

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 15, 2009

MAHWAH – Amid applause and cheers, 1,317 students continued Ramapo College of New Jersey’s tradition of walking under The Arch, as they did as freshmen, to begin the institution’s 51st commencement ceremony today.  Students who completed their studies in January and May, or who are expected to finish in August, were eligible to participate.

Jeffrey Vanderbeek, owner of the New Jersey Devils, delivered the commencement address, energizing the crowd and advising those assembled to live by his personal creed, learn, earn and return.  “Divide life into thirds,” he said.  “The first third, learn.  The next third, earn, and the final third, return.  You will be very fulfilled if you can get to the final third.” With a nod to the economy, Vanderbeek also told the graduates, “It may take you longer to reach your dream but that’s okay.  It will make your ultimate success that much sweeter.”

In addressing the graduates, Dr. Peter P. Mercer, president of Ramapo College said, “You have acquired an education grounded in the liberal arts–the cornerstone upon which you will build your futures.  The ability to think critically and analytically, and to communicate clearly and concisely in solving complex, real world problems are skills that will distinguish a Ramapo class of 2009 graduate.  These are the skills that leaders possess and the skills that a more diverse and interdependent world will need.”

The College’s President’s Award of Merit was awarded to Jonathan N. Marcus, Esq., Class of 1993.  The honoree is assistant general counsel at KPMG LLP in New York.


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 |