Commencement 2014

Photo: Mike Peters

James B. Patterson

Montclair State University held its 2014 Commencement exercises on Friday, May 23, at the Izod Center at New Jersey’s Meadowlands Sports Complex, conferring 4,382 degrees in science and mathematics, humanities and the social sciences, business, the arts and education. The Class of 2014, which is the largest in University history, includes 3,210 undergraduates and 1,172 graduate students.

Montclair State University President Susan A. Cole presided over the exercises and the Commencement address was delivered by award-winning author, James B. Patterson, best known for his suspense and thriller novels including the Alex Cross, Michael Bennett and Women’s Murder Club series.

A perennially best-selling author, Patterson has achieved book sales totaling more than 270 million copies, and he holds the Guinness world record for the most No. 1 best sellers on The New York Times list – making the top spot in both the adult and children’s categories simultaneously. He has received numerous awards including the Edgar Award, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year Award, the International Thriller of the Year Award, the Reader’s Digest Reader’s Choice Award and the Children’s Choice Book Award for Author of the Year.

An active supporter of reading and education, Patterson has funded scholarships at a number of colleges and universities – including Montclair State – for future teachers who are committed to providing students with the foundation for a lifetime enjoyment of reading. The James Patterson Teacher Education Scholarships at Montclair State provide support to 16 students each year and 12 scholarship recipients had their degrees conferred at the ceremony.

After receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University, Patterson addressed the Class of 2014 and spoke of the lasting impact of stories on people's lives. "I'm talking about the power of real stories to change real lives," he said. "The power of stories that help us understand the world better than we knew."

"I love writing stories; I'm incredibly passionate about it," said Patterson in offering some advice: "Passion is the reason for choosing a career – not money, not fame – passion."

Greetings from the senior class were offered by Michael Christopher Rosin, who received a bachelor’s degree in Music, with a concentration in Music Theory and Composition. Rosin will attend the San Francisco Conservatory of Music next year as a student in the Master of Arts program.

Mark Francis Russo was the graduate student speaker. Russo, who received a doctorate in Mathematics Education, will be starting a new job next year as the district supervisor for mathematics and art for the Pascack Valley Regional High School District.

Congratulations to the Class of 2014!

View Commencement photos at

Read media coverage of Commencement in The Star-Ledger and The Record.

View a snapshot video of the ceremony below.

View the entire Commencement ceremony below.

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.