HomeMt Laurel News'Every graduate deserves a celebration'

‘Every graduate deserves a celebration’

Rowan's winter commencements to celebrate mid-year grads

Jonathan Diaz/The Sun
Rowan’s Votta Pavilion will host three graduation ceremonies Wednesday beginning at 1 p.m.

Rowan College at Burlington County will hold its first winter commencement Wednesday to celebrate students who completed their degrees or certificates in the middle of the academic year.

The day will include three ceremonies, beginning in the Votta Hall Auditorium at 1 p.m. for health sciences majors; 3:30 p.m. for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics majors (STEM) and GED recipients; and 6 p.m. for liberal arts majors.

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The college added a winter commencement due to the many students who finished their degrees in the summer or fall, meaning they will likely be employed or at a transfer school during a typical May ceremony.

In order to graduate, students must meet the minimum requirements, including having all grades posted and completed (no X or I grades). Students must also have a final grade-point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher.

Students who get a grade of X in their final semester will be moved to the following graduation, unless they notify the office of the registrar in writing that they want to accept an F grade. Students who choose that option must still meet all other graduation requirements.

Rowan President Dr. Michael A. Cioce explained that the winter commencement is an opportunity to show appreciation for student efforts during college.

“Every Rowan College at Burlington County graduate deserves a celebration to recognize all of their successful work,” he said. “Adding December ceremonies will enable more graduates to take a well-deserved bow for their accomplishments.

Commencement used to be my favorite time of the year,” Cioce added. “Now it will be my favorite two times of the year.”

The college also announced three president’s award recipients who will speak at each commencement. They are health sciences major Rahaf Alsharif, a Syrian refugee and nursing graduate who emigrated to the U.S. more than over a decade ago; STEM major Adama Jones, a fashion design graduate who left high school following her junior year and completed her college degree with a 4.0 GPA; and liberal arts major Pamela Zahn, a human services major who turned her life around after addiction and incarceration.

Following each commencement, the Rowan Foundation will invite all graduates, their families and faculty to a reception. The ceremonies will be livestreamed on the college’s YouTube page and on its website at rcbc.edu. The college will play the stream on the large screen in the Student Success Center for guests without auditorium tickets.


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