Graduates of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences were told to embrace and accept change during Baccalaureate Commencement ceremonies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Anthony Cicatiello, co-founder and CEO, CN Communications and president of the Research and Development Council of New Jersey, spoke in the afternoon to graduates, their families and friends and the college’s faculty and staff in the Sports Center.
Cicatiello, who has long been an adviser to former Gov. Thomas Kean, told the graduates to celebrate the moment of their graduation without texting or looking at their smartphones.
“Hashtag: Just focus on this right now,” he said in a reference to twitter, drawing an appreciative laugh from the crowd. “I did this, I made it, today, I graduated from college.”
Cicatiello said education and industry will continue to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in an increasingly global economy. He said when he graduated, his competition was in the United States, but “you are competing with the world.” He added, however, “Because of you, I have no doubt that this country will remain a leader in STEM.”
“New Jersey has more scientists and engineers per square mile than any other state in the country,” he said. Over 22,000 students graduate in New Jersey with degrees in life sciences every year, and by 2018, there will be 269,000 jobs in the state for science majors, he said.
Cicatiello gave the graduates two pieces of advice:
– “If you walk with the wise, you will be wise.”
– And he quoted Thomas Edison as saying: “‘Success comes to those who hustle while they wait.’”
“For hustling while you wait, one thing I learned over time is that life rarely goes completely according to plan,” he said. “If things don’t turn out exactly as you thought they should, you absolutely should not walk away or give up. There is not a single successful person on the planet who didn’t work hard or make mistakes or take the wrong turn or have a moment of doubt.”
“Just remember – walk with the wise and you will become wise. Hustle while you wait and so much will come to you,” he said.
Over 1,300 Stockton graduates received degrees in three Commencement ceremonies this week. The master’s and doctoral graduation was May 8 and Baccalaureate ceremonies were held in the morning and afternoon on May 11.