EDISON, NJ - A total of 1,596 degrees and certificates were awarded to 1558 students by Middlesex County College Tuesday at the 49th annual Commencement exercises, which were witnessed by approximately 3,500 guests in the Expo Center in the Raritan Center.

Valedictorian Sridivya Raghavan delivered the class welcome, sharing her experiences and aspirations. Raghavan is a Liberal Arts/Business major.

Approximately 675 members of the Class of 2016 participated in the exercises, representing the 364 graduates of August 2015, 435 of January 2016 and 797 of May 2016. Participants included several students who fulfilled the requirements for more than one degree or certificate during this academic year.

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Dr. Mark McCormick, vice-president for academic and student affairs, presided. Greetings were delivered by Dr. Joann La Perla-Morales, college president; Dorothy K. Power, chair of the Board of Trustees; and Ronald G. Rios, freeholder director.

Professor Saul Kelton, of the History and Social Sciences Department, led the academic processional as grand marshal.

Dr. La Perla-Morales, sixth president of the college, conferred degrees and certificates to the graduates. Dr. McCormick presented the candidates for graduation.

Earlier in May, MCC held an honors convocation for students with the highest academic achievement in each program. MCC also presented the Chambers Awards to graduates with a 4.0 grade point average, and the seven individuals were recognized during commencement. They include Raghavan of Edison, the salutatorian, Erica L. Bergen (Edison), and Reginald Dizon (South Plainfield), John J. Losito (Carteret), Diana L. Bhagat (Colonia), Christopher Gately (East Brunswick), and Jennifer M. Hanley (Iselin).