Lakewood, N.J., May 24, 2019—Now is not the time to be afraid, dozens of Georgian Court graduates were told as they‑-and the families who supported them throughout their college years–gathered on campus for a special mass, led by GCU campus priest Rev. Anthony DePalma.
“A hundred years ago, the graduates of Georgian Court were leaving college and would find the world a different place, but in some ways, it was the same,” said Father Anthony. “The first graduates likely had doubts and fears to overcome.”
He noted that the students of the then-women’s college were equipped for life, however, because of the education they received the value system in which their education was delivered.
“You leave today with the same timeless, unfailing values,” he told an audience of male and female graduates. “They constitute a daily path to realizing success in life.”
Blessing the graduates
Other participating clergy included Rev. Msgr. Casimir Ladzinski, a former GCU trustee; Rev. Msgr. R. Vincent Gartland, who currently serves on the trustee board; and Deacon Mike Ponteriero of St. Thomas More Church in Fairfield, N.J. Later in the day, Deacon Mike, a cardiovascular surgeon, was awarded an honorary degree for his service to the church and community.
The Baccalaureate Mass offers thanks for the blessings God has bestowed upon the graduates and their families. Father Anthony, who delivered the homily based on Matthew 6: 19-21 and 25-33, offered comforting advice.
“In the days ahead, our Lord would not want us to worry about the small stuff,” he said. “Go forth from the university confident and unafraid because your days at Georgian Court exposed you to the education and values you need to succeed in this world.“
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Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court expands possibility for more than 2,400 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35 undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. In 2018, GCU was named a Best College for Your Money by Money Magazine. GCU has also been recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Colleges of Distinction and was one of about 100 colleges nationwide that made Phi Theta Kappa’s 2018 Transfer Honor Roll. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at Hazlet, GCU at Cumberland, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.