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2019 Graduates Celebrate at Hooding & Awards Ceremonies

May 21, 2019

In the days leading up to Commencement, CNR’s four Schools conducted joyous hooding ceremonies in honor of graduating students. The ceremonies provided an opportunity for CNR graduates to celebrate with the classmates, faculty, administrators, and family members who provided friendship, encouragement, and mentorship throughout their college years. Outstanding students also received special recognition awards for their academic achievements.

The most distinctive part of academic regalia, the hood’s colors signify the field of study a student pursued, as well as the college or university conferring the degree. During the hooding ceremony, faculty members placed the academic hood over each student’s head, signifying success in completing their program of study. By donning the hood, the students joined the ranks of CNR graduates dating back more than a century.

During each of the hoodings, student speakers offered words of praise and advice to the graduates. Read excerpts of those remarks below.

Excerpts from Hooding Speeches


“We’ve come a long way, and yet still, this is only the beginning. Each of our stories matter. Each experience adds to the pages of our lives. Each of us has gained knowledge about the world, helping us to return to the dark places of our past to bring this light to those that need it most.”

“If you go to CNR’s website, in our history, it states that in 1972 the school of New Resources was created to “deliver an innovative baccalaureate liberal arts program designed to address the needs of adult learners.” For every one of you graduates, it has done substantially more. It has created New Resources. “You are the New Resource.” You are the new resource your family needs, you are the new resource your community needs, and you are the new resource the world needs. You have been given the gift and honor to share with the world, the flame that burns on our banner. Shine bright graduates, and never let your flame for knowledge extinguish.”

“On May 21, our proposal will be accepted, and we’ll turn in our last Life Arts Project on canvas. However, this canvas won’t be online, you’ll turn it in on the canvas of your life. What will you post? What papers will you write? What presentation will you provide to the world? The world is our canvas now, write well, post with intent, and give a presentation no soul has ever seen before. Shine bright graduates, Shine big scholars because you are our world’s Newest Resource.”

Jerry Simmons SNR’19, Co-op City Campus

“As a second-degree nursing student, many of us have children, hold jobs and run a household. People have often told me ‘I don’t know how you do it.’  My answer has always been one day at a time because if I thought too far ahead I would not get out of my bed in the morning and that would be a shame because we spent hours learning how to make a bed.”

“As we move on to successful careers, I want us to remember where we came from. The College of New Rochelle may not be here tomorrow but will live on within us forever strong, we now have the ‘Wisdom for Life.’” 

Nicole Delvecchio SNHP’19

“My mother’s perseverance and determination is what inspired me to pursue my college degree here at The College of New Rochelle. My mother was a teenage single mother who raised me and my sister by herself. Like my mother, I am also a single mother. I am the proud mother of four awesome children.”

“The message that I would like to leave with all of you is to, always follow your dream no matter what. ‘Do not let your struggle be your identity.’ ‘Do not let anyone define you as a person.’ And ‘Always remember to love yourself.’ My college journey has not been easy, but I made it. I would like to say to my children, Dejanere, Dymon, Daveda, and Diamond, ‘Mommy did it.’”

Leda Goodwin SNR’19, John Cardinal O’Connor Campus

“To be diligent at anything takes dedication, patience, and most importantly discipline. It’s one thing to want success, but it is a whole other thing for you to constantly go for it and to not give up. Even though I did fail at playing basketball miserably, it was an experience that helped me develop the habit of consistency and discipline that I was able to apply in my coursework towards getting my degree in biology and minor in chemistry and sociology. This experience has made me realize that the journey may not always go your way. It may take multiple ways for you to figure out how you can make this work, but the main point is that you always will.”

[The closing of the College] “has reminded us that change happens whether you expect it or not. However, one thing you can always expect from change is the opportunity to grow. The amount of intellectual and spiritual growth we’ve gained so far is exponential and we’re only going to continue to go forward from here.”

Maty Sembene SAS’19

“I am the sixth child in a family of eight and grew up surrounded by individuals who appreciated the value of education as my mother can attest. Nevertheless, as a young girl, I faced obstacles in advancing my education at an earlier stage due to life circumstances and family challenges, navigating between rural and urban life which is very common in Africa.”

“Although I lacked education at college level, I was keenly aware about its importance. The hardships and obstacles in my life journey notwithstanding, I can now say that I have found a balance to overcome those barriers. Education has enabled me to have a choice and the power to have my actions attuned to my goals which were worth the pursuit.”

“This has been an amazing journey, and I have enjoyed each step.”

Simangaliso Gumende SNR’19, New Rochelle Campus

“The College has prepared me to succeed beyond my own expectations.”


“We gained an abundance of knowledge, and skills from each other and from our professors, that make us more powerful today than we were when we entered the School of New Resources. Now the opportunities are endless and we can expand our horizons through the education we have received. We should recognize the power that we have now that we have degrees and continue to make an impact

within our communities and beyond.”


“This ceremony highlights the end of the legacy that The College of New Rochelle established in 1904, and I am thankful and honored to be a part of The College of New Rochelle's tradition. Each of us individually contributed to this legacy and we should take this opportunity to celebrate all that we gained from this experience.”

Cristina Cox SNR’19, Brooklyn Campus

“The College of New Rochelle has molded, trained, guided and provided me with the tools to be successful and be confident in myself. CNR has helped me beat the odds. Statistically, only 40 percent of teen mothers finish high school. Fewer than 2 percent finish college by age 30. I can proudly say that as a mother of five, today I am a college graduate. CNR has provided me with incredible opportunities.”

Anais Bourdier SNHP’19

“Fear will be a player in your life but, you get to decide what role it will play. You can spend the rest of your life scared of the unknown, worried about your journey towards the future or, you can focus on what’s happening right here right now. Sometimes what we want may seem too far to grab or too ridiculous to achieve.”

“Remember if we can fail at what we don’t want to do, why not tackle our passions? There are only two possible outcomes. Do what you love! What do we really have to lose?!

Tara Robinson SNR’19, Rosa Parks Campus

See Flickr Album Below

Hooding & Awards Ceremonies