Skip Navigation

University News

May 18th Commencement Exercises Celebrate GCU’s Newest Graduates

graduates process past faculty at Commencement

Family, friends, and faculty will celebrate the accomplishments of undergraduate and graduate students during the 111th Annual Commencement Ceremonies of Georgian Court University on Wednesday, May 18. Degrees will be awarded to eligible students completing their academic programs in August 2021, December 2021, February 2022, and May 2022. A Baccalaureate Mass for people of all faiths will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., with undergraduate exercises at 1:30 p.m. and the graduate ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Every GCU graduating class has its unique characteristics and points of pride. This group of nearly 450 undergraduate and more than 180 graduate students is no exception:

  • GCU will award the Advanced Standing Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in School Psychology degree to its first cohort of five students.
  • Fifty years separate the youngest graduate (19) and the oldest (69).
  • While 95 percent of the class is from New Jersey, graduates come from as far away as California, New Hampshire, Australia, and Vietnam.
  • Forty percent of the class’s undergraduates are the first in their families to attend college; 50 percent received federal Pell Grants, aid generally reserved for students with the highest financial need.
Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, Commencement 2022 keynote speaker
Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health

Words of Wisdom and High Honors

The university is pleased to welcome Robert C. Garrett, CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health, as keynote speaker for the undergraduate ceremony and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Health degree. Under Mr. Garrett’s leadership, New Jersey’s largest health network made many contributions in the fight against COVID-19 through treatment and testing and vaccine innovations.

CEO Forum included Mr. Garrett on its list of 10 CEOs Transforming Healthcare In America, and he was ranked No. 6 on the NJBIZ Power 100 List (2022). Mr. Garrett, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, received a Master of Health Administration degree from Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University. Additionally, he serves on several boards related to business, health care, education and culture.

Yasmin Amaro-Garcia, a campus leader who will receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, is the student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony. Christine Clark, a member of the first cohort of graduates in the Advanced Standing Psy.D. program, will address her fellow graduate students.

In addition to academic degrees, GCU will present the Virginia Graham ’31 Award for Teaching Excellence, Academic Excellence Award (the senior with the highest GPA), and Kingdon Gould Jr. Award (the senior chosen by classmates as the class member who contributed the most to the general welfare of Georgian Court University).

A  guide to this year’s Commencement events provides important information about parking, plans in the event of inclement weather, COVID-19 protocols, and much more so that graduates and guests know what to expect on this very special day.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

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, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. 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 BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.