Brookdale Community College holds memorable 50th graduation ceremony

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Brookdale Community College, the county college of Monmouth County, held a memorable 50th graduation ceremony at its campus in the Lincroft section of Middletown on July 30.

With the ongoing 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the in-person commencement adhered to the state’s face covering and social distancing guidelines as graduates and their family members remained in their vehicles most of the time, according to a press release from the college.

“Brookdale certainly gleamed with pride and showed our steadfast commitment to student success,” Yesenia Madas, associate vice president of student affairs, said about the ceremony.

Graduates drove onto campus and were greeted by faculty members, administration, police officers and staff members waving signs, cheering and showing their congratulations, according to the press release.

The graduates and their families drove to a parking lot across from the back entrance to the Collins Arena, the building that would have housed the commencement ceremony in May if it had not been postponed due to the pandemic. A commencement stage was set up in the parking area.

Brookdale administrators were able to individualize the graduation experience for each student with a personal chance to celebrate their accomplishment and share that moment with those who helped the most along the way, according to the press release.

Like every other year, each graduate got to hear their name announced as they walked across the stage to receive their diploma as friends and family members cheered for them. The arrival times were scheduled so each graduate could experience walking across the stage, according to the press release.

“It was intimate, full of emotion and a true celebration of our graduates,” Madas said.

There were no speeches or crowds, as friends and family members who arrived with the graduate had to remain in their vehicle to watch their graduate cross the stage, but they cheered just as loud and were just as excited to celebrate the achievement, according to the press release.

“Anyone who participated in the 2020 commencement will never forget how special it was,” Madas said.