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Ramapo College Celebrates Class of 2015

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)May 26, 2015

MAHWAH, N.J. – More than 1,400 students received their degrees at Ramapo College’s 57th commencement ceremony on May 15 at Prudential Center in Newark.

Ramapo College President Peter P. Mercer praised the graduates. “I am proud that so many of you responded to the calls for action with a sincere commitment to social justice.”

Grace Helbig, comedian and actress, offered one message to the graduates during her commencement address: “Follow your fear.”

Helbig, who was selected by the graduating class to offer the keynote address, said she experienced many moments of uncertainty and failure before her career as a YouTube and late-night TV star took off.  “Failure is okay as an option because perfection is not a human thing to relate to. What I will tell you is this: say ‘Thank you very much, failure,’ then put it in your pocket and move forward.”

Helbig is the creator and star of It’s Grace (with more than 2 million subscribers), for which she’s been awarded a Webby. Her new talk show, The Grace Helbig Show, premiered in April. She also recently launched a podcast, Not Too Deep With Grace Helbig, which is consistently number one on Itunes. Her book, Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up, was a New York Times #1 Bestseller in its first week of release.

Ron DePoalo, Class of 1986, received the President’s Award of Merit, which recognizes distinguished accomplishments by Ramapo College alumni and friends of the College.

“I encourage you to find your passion and act upon it,” DePaolo told the graduates. He added that, “Ramapo will always hold special memories for me.”

DePoalo is the chief information officer for Fidelity Institutional, a business unit of Fidelity Investments. He received a bachelor of science in management information systems from Ramapo College and an MBA from Saint Peter’s College, New Jersey. He was ranked 10th in the Institutional Investor’s Trading Technology 40 for 2015. He was named to the WallStreet & Technology’s 2012 Gold Book, which recognizes Wall Street’s top technology leaders.





About Ramapo College

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 comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

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, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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