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New York, NY – July 19, 2019 – ASA College’s 20th Annual Graduation Ceremony took place at 5:00 pm on Friday, July 19th, 2019 at the Hulu Theater, Madison Square Garden. This year’s class was comprised of over 830 graduates from the Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses. All gathered were inspired by New York State Assembly Member, Walter Mosley, who delivered the Keynote speech. The Assemblyman put into words an important and timely understanding of the graduating class’s collective accomplishment when he said, “I know that many of you – from roughly about 120 countries represented here in this graduating class – you are America! You are reflective of what we all as a country should strive for. You are the better side of our country.” Assemblyman Mosley represents the 57th District of Brooklyn which encompasses the neighborhoods of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, and parts of Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights.  He is also the Chairman of the Commission on Skills Development and Career Education of the New York State Assembly.

 

Further acknowledging the special triumph that ASA graduates embodied, Dan Holt, Chairman of ASA College’s Board of Trustees said, “by standing up, I’d like to see who is the first person from their family to graduate from college.”  The vast majority of students rose to their feet.

 

In his remarks, ASA College President Jose Valencia reminded students that the college would support them in their careers going forward, and he encouraged them to continue their education with a 4-year degree program, be it at ASA or another institution. President Valencia represented the sentiment of the entire institution in saying, “to you graduates of the Class of 2019, we are here at Madison Square Garden, one of the most iconic places in the world.  On behalf of the staff, on behalf of the faculty, the executives and Board of Trustees, we’re wishing you hope and resilience in every challenge you will face in life.”

 

A highlight from the night was the speech delivered by the Class Valedictorian, Aziza Ben Atalah. She spoke about her journey from ESL student to the holder of an Associate’s in Occupational Studies, Network Administration and Security. A major theme of her speech was that ASA students learn from their professors but also from the diverse life experiences of their classmates. In closing she said, “Education is our most powerful weapon, with which we can change the world.”  She also told her fellow graduates to “think about the people in your life who helped you along the way.”

 

The graduation concluded with Dr. Shanthi Konkoth, Provost, leading the tassel ceremony. Prior to the ceremony, the tassel is expected to be worn on the right. During the ceremony it should be moved to the left side after all students have received their diplomas. The gesture of moving the tassel from one side of the cap to the other symbolizes the individual’s movement from candidate to graduate.

 

New Vice President of Planning and Operations at ASA College, Maritza Mercado, was charged with the planning, organization, and production of the graduation ceremony. By all accounts, Ms. Mercado outdid expectations as this year’s Mistress of Ceremonies and Chief Organizer. She expressed her perspective on the college in saying, “I’m very proud of the diversity that we have here in our student body as well as our faculty.”

 

ASA College is an Associate’s Degree-granting institution which is regionally-accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  It was founded in 1985 and from a mere 12 students that year, it has now grown to over 4,000 students enrolled in Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn, New York locations, as well as campuses in Miami, Florida. ASA College offers programs in Medical Assisting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Computer Network Administration, and Nursing, among others.

 

Past Keynote Address Speakers include Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, New York City Comptroller William Thompson, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller.

 

 

 

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