By: Rob Spahr, NJ.com
Brookdale Community College celebrated the commencement of its latest graduating class on Friday.
The more than 2,000 graduates hailed from 16 different countries and accounted for 203 distinguished scholars and 42 perfect 4.0 GPAs.
“Today is the reason we do what we do and we are so very proud of you,” said Maureen Murphy, the school’s president. “I know you will go on and are going to make us proud. Your future is yours, and I look forward to seeing what you do.”
Brian Butch, the chairman of Brookdale’s board of trustees, told the crowd who filled Robert J. Collins Area for the commencement that Friday was a day to celebrate the accomplishments of not only the graduates, but also the people who helped them get there, such as family, friends and faculty members.
“Take the knowledge you learned here and make Brookdale proud,” Butch told the graduates.
Class representative Justin Melendez started off his commencement speech by taking a “selfie” of himself and Tweeting it out.
Melendez then challenged his fellow graduates to thank the people who have supported them, he reassured them that it is never too later to finish what they’ve started and encouraged them to embrace their mistakes.
“Mistakes don’t define your future,” he said. “What you do with those mistakes is what matters.”