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Rockland Community College Celebrates 59th Commencement Ceremony

Rockland Community College Celebrates 59th Commencement Ceremony

2019 Commencement is May 23, 2019.

Keynote Speaker, H. Carl McCall, Chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees

Date: May 16, 2019

ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. – Rockland Community College is holding its 59th commencement ceremony at 7 pm Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the RCC Fieldhouse. “I am delighted to invite our graduates and their families and friends along with RCC faculty and staff to share in this happy occasion as these students embark on the next chapters in their lives, whether it is entering the work force immediately or continuing on to a four-year college,” says RCC President Dr. Michael Anthony Baston. “While I am always proud to see our students graduate, this year I take particular pride in handing diplomas to our first Career Skills Academy graduating class.”

Recognizing there is a high demand to fill “middle-skills” jobs, those which require more education and training than a high school diploma but less than a four-year college degree, RCC created the Career Skills Academy to give students the chance to earn a credential that will help them obtain employment quickly in jobs that pay at least $45,000 per year. The programs are designed to teach specific skills—such as Google IT support, CAD drafting/3D modeling, social media marketing, gas pipeline operations, medical call center representation, kosher baking/breadmaking, professional bookkeeping,—in a concentrated time frame so students can start a new career, earning a good salary, in less than one year. The program also includes courses that may be transferable as college credit in the future, if students choose to continue their formal education.

H. Carl McCall, Chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees and long-time advocate for public education will be the Commencement keynote speaker. As the former Comptroller of the State of New York, he was responsible for governmental and financial oversight and was the sole trustee of the state’s $120 billion pension fund. Prior to that, he served as President of the New York City Board of Education. In that role, he set policy for the largest school system in the nation.

He was appointed Chairman of the State University of New York Board of Trustees in October 2011 and first joined the Board as a member in 2007. He has also been active in the private sector serving as a Vice President of Citibank and as Corporate Director of the New York Stock Exchange, Tyco International, New Plan Realty Corporation and Ariel Investment. He was educated at Dartmouth College, Andover Newton Theological Seminary and the University of Edinburgh and is the recipient of nine honorary degrees. “This will be Carl’s last keynote as Chairman of the Board of Trustees before retiring and we are immeasurably proud that he has chosen Rockland Community College for this honor,” stated Dr. Baston.

"There is no replacement for what a higher education can provide to help elevate our citizenry, which is why I am proud to join Rockland Community College in celebrating the Class of 2019,” said SUNY Chairman of the Board, H. Carl McCall. “Today, our students should be proud of what they have accomplished, and be confident in their future, whether they pursue a career immediately or seek to gain additional education.”

Rockland Community College, State University of New York, offers a safe, supportive learning environment for thousands of students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Thanks to the school’s affordable tuition, students who start out at RCC and then transfer to a four-year college can save up to $100,000 on their education. RCC is also proud to provide career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills. More information can be found at

Graduation guests are advised to arrive before 6 pm for the 7 pm commencement ceremony. While invitations are not necessary to attend, all graduating students must register to participate in the event and seating for guests is on a first-come, first serve basis. Graduating students must wear their RCC cap and gown and register at the check-in tables before going to the lineup area.

More information can be found at this link:

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Media Contact:  Risa B. Hoag, GMGPR