NJ Senate President Nicholas Scutari will deliver the keynote speech; Valedictorian Sally Elwir will address fellow graduates and their guests.
Hudson County Community College (HCCC) will hold its 46th
Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at 10:45 a.m. at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Approximately 1,500 graduates, a college record, will be joined by family, friends, elected officials, the College’s Trustees, as well as HCCC faculty and staff. New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari will deliver the keynote address, and Sally Elwir will deliver valedictory remarks.
Among the graduates, there will be 13 students from Hudson County High School who completed their associate degrees while still attending high school. There are also nine graduates who are incarcerated or reentry citizens. “As members of the Class of 2023 embark upon the next chapters of their lives, we know they will continue to demonstrate the fortitude, perseverance, and leadership that brought them success as HCCC students,” said HCCC President Dr. Christopher Reber. “We look forward to celebrating them and their families.”
Representing the 22nd District, New Jersey State Senator Nicholas Scutari is a strong education proponent. He co-sponsored the New Jersey STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Scholars Grant Pilot Program which builds upon existing STEM educational programs and creates new ones. Senator Scutari received his undergraduate degree from Kean College (now Kean University), his Master’s degree from Rutgers University, and his law degree from the Thomas Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University. Currently the President of the New Jersey Senate, he serves as Chair of the Joint State Leasing and Space Utilization Committee.
HCCC Class of 2023 Valedictorian Sally Elwir is a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Semifinalist who will receive her Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Criminal Justice. She is President of the HCCC Student Government Association and Vice President of the Beta Alpha Phi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) International Honor Society. Ms. Elwir is a frequent speaker at HCCC Town Hall and Board of Trustees meetings. She interned for the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office and volunteered for “It’s On Us,” an advocacy group dedicated to combatting sexual assault.
“I feel strongly about public safety and ensuring that people’s concerns are taken seriously. It is important that someone in the criminal justice field fight for social justice from the government and for the people, which I am confident in doing,” Ms. Elwir said.
Coming from a large family of Middle Eastern descent, Ms. Elwir speaks English and Arabic. She participated in a federal work-study program and serves on the HCCC JED Campus Team, supported by the nonprofit JED Foundation, an organization that helps protect emotional health and prevent suicide among teens and young adults. She is also a member of the HCCC Student Affairs Committee of the All College Council (the HCCC participatory governance organization), and Student Conduct Board. She volunteers for the Hudson Helps Resource Center and Hope House, an emergency shelter for homeless women with children; and works for HCCC’s Office of Student Life and Leadership. Additionally, Elwir has served as an HCCC College Student Success Mentor. # #
#About Hudson County Community College
Hudson County Community College serves more than 18,000 credit and non-credit students annually. The College offers nearly 90 degree and certificate programs, including award-winning English as a Second Language; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Culinary Arts/Hospitality Management; Nursing and Health Professions; and Humanities and Social Sciences. The HCCC Culinary/Hospitality Management program was ranked number six in the U.S. by Best Choice Schools. HCCC has partnerships with major four-year colleges and universities in the greater New Jersey-New York area and beyond, accommodating seamless transfer of credits for further undergraduate and graduate education.The College’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been recognized with the 2021 Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Northeast Region Equity Award; the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2021 and 2022 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, this year honoring HCCC as one of seven community colleges nationally to be named “Top Colleges for Diversity;” and the “INSIGHT Into Diversity” 2022 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award. HCCC was a finalist last year for the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) “Advancing Diversity Award of Excellence.” For the second consecutive year, HCCC was selected as one of 20 community colleges in the United States to be named among the “2023 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges” by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) in collaboration with “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.” The College was one of 22 community colleges in the nation, and the only college in New Jersey, to be recognized by ModernThink LLC and the “Chronicle of Higher Education” as a 2022 “Great College to Work For® You.” HCCC is one of two colleges in the United States to be named a Top Ten Finalist in all three program categories for the nationally recognized 2023 Bellwether Awards and received the 2023 Bellwether Award for the College’s cutting-edge “Hudson Scholars” program. The College’s exemplary work in advancing student success has been recognized with the 2023 “Leader College” designation by Achieving the Dream, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing community colleges as catalysts for equity and mobility in their communities. HCCC was also presented with the Campus Prevention Network Seal of Prevention by Vector Solutions for demonstrating leadership in digital prevention programming focused on student safety, well-being, and inclusion.