Associate Degrees Awarded to More than 1,100 Students – Posted 5/22/15

County College of Morris (CCM) presented diplomas to the Class of 2015 during its 46th commencement ceremony today.

More than 1,100 students – many who are transferring to top four-year institutions to earn their bachelor’s degrees – were eligible to receive diplomas in one of four degrees: Associate in Arts, Associate in Fine Arts, Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science. Some of the most popular programs CCM students received degrees in are Humanities Social Science (Liberal Arts), Business Administration, Nursing, Criminal Justice, Biology and Exercise Science. The graduates completed their studies between August 2014 and May 2015. Approximately 350 students from the Class of 2015 took part in this year’s commencement ceremony.

Included among the top schools across the country that CCM graduates are transferring to are the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Arizona State University, Fashion Institute of Technology, Fordham University, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Virginia Tech, along with New Jersey’s leading colleges and universities.

Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Management, gave the commencement address. Holding to college tradition, she used that opportunity to highlight several outstanding graduates and the diversity of the CCM student body.

In an effort to advance world peace and human understanding, CCM also recognized the winners of its Peace Prize at the ceremony. The winners of the 2015 CCM Peace Prize are Louis Heineman, of Wharton, and Matthew McCloskey, of Flanders, for their joint project consisting of a video and a mural of a peace sign made from students’ handprints. Their faculty mentor was Dr. Matthew Jones, chair of the Department of Communication at CCM. Their video and mural can be viewed at

The winning project each year receives a $1,000 award, provided by the CCM Foundation. Heineman and McCloskey will also have their names added to a permanent plaque of Peace Prize winners located in the Student Community Center.

This is the 13th year the college has awarded its Peace Prize, which is organized and administered by Professor Peter Maguire of the Department of English and Philosophy. Established in the fall of 2001, the Peace Prize competition provides students with the opportunity to apply their imagination and creativity to the design and production of a work that both commemorates the events of September 11, 2001, and makes a positive statement about the importance and pursuit of world peace.

The CCM Media Center streamed the commencement ceremony live on the college’s YouTube channel at That video can still be viewed on YouTube for those who were unable to watch it live. There were also live broadcasts of the ceremony on Channel 40 on Verizon FiOS and METV Channel 77 on Cablevision.

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Photo 1: From left to right, Tuyen Nguyen, of Rockaway; Michelle Laracuente, of Mount Olive; Joshua Pierce, of Teaneck; and Renata Mauriz, of Succasunna, were the CCM Class of 2015 highlighted students in this year’s commencement address.

Photo 2: Benjamin Muller, of Sparta, receives his degree diploma from Dr. Dwight Smith, CCM vice president of Academic Affairs.