Commencement 2013

Photo: Mike Peters

S. Epatha Merkerson

Montclair State University held its 2013 Commencement exercises on Friday, May 24, at the Izod Center at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Sports Complex, conferring 4,320 degrees in science and mathematics, humanities and the social sciences, business, the arts and education. The Class of 2013, which is the largest in University history, includes 3,273 undergraduates and 1,047 graduate students.

Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole presided over the exercises and the Commencement address was delivered by award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, who is best known for her 16-year role as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on the hit television series Law & Order, for which she won three NAACP Image Awards.

Equally acclaimed for her acting in television, film and theater, Merkerson won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her work in the 2005 HBO film Lackawanna Blues, and has appeared in such feature films as Lincoln and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. She was also nominated for a Tony Award for Come Back, Little Sheba in 2008 and The Piano Lesson in 2001.

After receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University, Merkerson urged the members of the Class of 2013 to keep their eyes open as they travel through life. "Keep your eyes opendon't miss a thing. You are at a moment of endless possibilities in your life," she said.

Greetings from the senior class were offered by Racquel Foster, who received a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting. After graduation, she will begin her career in television with a major network based in New York City.

Mame Kani Diop, was the graduate student speaker. Diop received a master’s degree in Family and Child Studies and has been accepted into Montclair State’s PhD program in Family Studies.

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

View Commencement photos on

View Full Commencement Ceremony Video on YouTube

View a snapshot video of the Commencement Ceremony

Read media coverage of Commencement in The Record, Montclair Patch and Baristanet.

Prior to Commencement, each of the University’s colleges and schools held Convocation ceremonies on the Montclair State campus. Read about the Convocation ceremonies for the College of the Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Education and Human Services, the School of Business, and The Graduate School.