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Georgian Court University Names Commencement 2018 Speaker, Honorees


Combined Ceremony and New Location for This Year’s Celebration

Honorees for the Georgian Court University Commencement 2018 Ceremony include a past member of the Georgian Court Board of Trustees, a three-time honoree of the “NJBIZ Power 50” list, and a high school superintendent. For the first time ever, the Toms River High School North RWJBarnabas Health Arena is the location for a combined bachelor’s and master’s Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony is on Thursday, May 24, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. It is a ticketed event and is expected to attract more than 3,000 guests.

Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement 2018 Ceremony

Elisabeth Fontenelli will deliver the keynote address at the Commencement 2018 Ceremony. Ms. Fontenelli recently retired after a 30-year career that culminated with a position as deputy head of Global Investment Research at Goldman Sachs. She earned a dual Bachelor of Science degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and the School of Management at Syracuse University in 1986. In 2016, she completed 12 years of service as a trustee at Georgian Court. The university will award Ms. Fontenelli an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree.

Jon F. Hanson, chairman and founder, The Hampshire Companies, and a three-time honoree of the “NJBIZ Power 50” list, will receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree. Mr. Hanson is on the Board of Managers and Investment Committees for the Hampshire Funds and is senior advisor to the Hampshire’s investment program. He is also director of Yankee Global Enterprises and chair emeritus of HealthSouth Corporation, the National Football Foundation, and the College Football Hall of Fame. Mr. Hanson and colleagues have championed the Atlantic City Gateway Redevelopment project forward toward construction of Stockton University’s new campus and the relocation of South Jersey Gas.

Triantafillos Parlapanides, Ed.D., ’00, superintendent of Central Regional High School, will receive an honorary Doctor of Educational Administration. Dr. Parlapanides has a doctorate from Seton Hall University, a Master of Arts in Administration and Leadership from Georgian Court, and a Bachelor of Science from Villanova University. He taught at Central Regional before taking positions at Egg Harbor Township Middle School and has served as principal at Shore Regional High School and Central Middle School. He was selected as Central Regional’s superintendent in 2008.

Baccalaureate Mass and Academic Awards and Certificate Ceremony

On Wednesday, May 23, at 2:00 p.m., Georgian Court will hold a Baccalaureate Mass in the Wellness Center. Class of 2018 students, faculty, administrators, and staff, all wearing academic attire, will participate in the hour-long Mass. The Academic Awards and Certificate Ceremony will immediately follow the Mass. A reception on the southern end of campus, near the Apollo Fountain and the Mansion, will follow the Award and Certificate Ceremony at approximately 4:00 p.m.

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.

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