28 Jamaicans graduate Monroe College
BRONX, New York:
Twenty-eight Jamaican students were celebrated in a virtual commencement ceremony held recently to highlight the academic achievements of Monroe College’s exceptional class of 2020.
Marc Jerome, president of Monroe College, commended the students, noting, “We are so proud of our students from Jamaica, and we wish them great success as they begin the next chapter in their journey.”
The students were among more than 2,400, representing 67 countries, who graduated from Monroe on June 17. The 28 Jamaicans are Petrice Atkinson, Raheem Barrett, Chante Bennett, Danika Bernard, Krystal Bruce, Antroy Chambers, Marsha Clayton, Kimeika Daley, Grace-Anne Eccles, Dana Ferron, Sharna Forbes, Yashiki Gilzene, Khalia James, Schemore Lampart, Fernandez Lawrence, Karina Lewis, Brittney Livermore, Shenel McKenzie, Robyn McPherson, Christakaye Myles, Kristina Newby, Rosheena Riley, Cheval Smith, Rheshema Smith, Moniere Thompson, Ramone Thompson, Nolene Whyte Francis, and Cassandra Wright.
The college originally intended to hold its commencement at Radio City Music Hall in the heart of New York City, but ongoing uncertainties regarding the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the change to a virtual event.
Saturday Night Live comedian Kenan Thompson opened the event and, with his relaxed style and witty banter, made it clear to graduates and their guests that this would be unlike any other college graduation. Other celebrities making an appearance during the event included renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson; former professional baseball player Carlos Peña; and popular recording artistes Sean Paul, Ne-Yo, and Christina Milian.
Jerome added: “Our virtual commencement was an incredible event unlike any other in the college’s 87-year history. It had all the joy, pride, and tears we see at Radio City with a few surprise celebrity guests added to make it truly memorable for our graduates and their families.”
In addition to students from Jamaica, the United States, and its territories, Monroe’s class of 2020 included sizable contingents from Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, China, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, India, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia.
The college’s three-term academic calendar enables Monroe students to earn 45 or more college credits per year (compared to the 30 credits college students typically earn per year at other institutions). That means that many of this year’s graduates earned their bachelor’s degree in three years or their associate degree in less than two years.