December 01, 2015

Commencement 2015: NJCU Graduates Largest Class Ever; First Doctoral Degrees Awarded

New Jersey City University (NJCU) awarded 2,016 graduate and undergraduate degrees including its first doctoral degrees at its commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 12. Degrees were conferred at one ceremony, which began at 9:00 a.m. at the Prudential Center in Newark.
The ceremony may be viewed at http://ustream.tv/channel/NJCU-Events.

An honorary doctorate was presented to Chirag Patel ‘89, co-CEO and chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a company based in Bridgewater, New Jersey which employs over 2,600 men and women worldwide. The honorary title of president emeritus was awarded to Dr. Carlos Hernández, a psychologist with extensive public service experience in higher education who served NJCU as president from January 1993 to July 2012.

Undergraduate and graduate degree candidates in NJCU’s William J. Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences, Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe College of Education, College of Professional Studies, and the School of Business participated in one commencement ceremony. Undergraduate degrees were conferred upon 1,547 students: 650 bachelor of arts degrees, 10 bachelor of fine arts degrees, four bachelor of music degrees, 662 bachelor of science degrees, and 221 bachelor of science in nursing degrees.

Graduate degrees were conferred upon 459 students. Doctor of science degrees in civil security, leadership, management and policy will be awarded to NJCU’s first ten doctoral candidates. Graduate degrees were conferred upon: 175 master of arts degrees, 107 master of arts in teaching degrees, 40 master of business administration degrees, one master of fine arts degrees, 10 master of music degrees, 113 master of science degrees, and 13 professional diplomas in school psychology.

Commencement Order of Exercises

Dr. Sue Henderson, NJCU president, presided over the commencement ceremony. Rafael Perez, Esq., chair of the NJCU Board of Trustees, conveyed greetings from the trustees.

A “Welcome from the Alumni” was then given by Anthony Del Monte ’89, CEO of Squeaky Wheel Media and Co-founder of I Had Cancer.com.

Senior Class President Brianna Gipe of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania delivered a “Student Reflection” on behalf of the graduates.

The honorary title of President Emeritus was presented to Dr. Carlos Hernández for his extraordinary contributions to NJCU and to higher education. Under his leadership, the institution formerly known as Jersey City State College expanded its scope, underscored its urban mission, constructed and renovated academic buildings and student facilities, offered its first doctoral program, and attained university designation on May 29, 1998. Prior to his appointment as president, Dr. Hernández served in various capacities at the institution – as provost, vice president for academic affairs, and executive assistant to the president – and began his career there as a faculty member in the Psychology Department in 1973. [A biographical sketch of Carlos Hernández follows.]

The doctor of humane letters degree was then conferred upon Mr. Patel, an outstanding entrepreneur and international businessman who has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and information technology industries. Mr. Patel delivered remarks. [A biographical sketch of Chirag Patel follows.]

Dr. Sue Henderson gave the “President’s Charge to the Graduates.” Dr. Daniel J. Julius, provost and academic vice president, then delivered the “Provost’s Address.”

The deans of the University’s three Colleges and School of Business presented degree candidates: Dr. Francis Moran, interim dean of the William J. Maxwell College of Arts and Sciences; Dr. Allan De Fina, dean of the Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe College of Education and the College of Professional Studies; and Dr. Bernard McSherry, interim dean of the School of Business.

Biographical Sketch of President Emeritus
Carlos Hernández, Ph.D.


A psychologist who has extensive public service experience in higher education, Carlos Hernández, Ph.D. served as the president of New Jersey City University from January 1993 to July 2012. Under his leadership, the institution formerly known as Jersey City State College expanded its scope, underscored its urban mission, constructed and renovated academic buildings and student facilities, offered its first doctoral program, and attained university designation on May 29, 1998. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Hernández served in various capacities at the institution – as provost, vice president for academic affairs, and executive assistant to the president – and began his career there as a faculty member in the Psychology Department.

Dr. Hernández is a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Higher Education and chaired the Association’s Hispanic Caucus. He is a former member of the Governing Board of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and served as a member of the American Council on Higher Education’s Commission on International Education as well as its Commission on Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity. Dr. Hernández also served on the Board of Directors of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and served a term as its chair. He was a reader for the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, served on and led over a dozen accreditation team visits, and served as a Commissioner of the Association. Dr. Hernández also served on the NCAA Division III Presidents’ Council.

In New Jersey, Dr. Hernández served on the Presidents’ Council as a member and chaired its Academic Issues Committee. He served on the boards of NJEdge, the Hudson County Alliance for Action, the Liberty Science Center, and Liberty HealthCare Systems, Inc., and chaired the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce. He currently serves on the boards of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Eastman Fund, and the Open Sky Museum. He is a member of the board of the Provident Bank and chairs the Bank’s foundation.

Research conducted and lectures delivered by Dr. Hernández have focused on the impact of globalization on higher education, sustainability, models of technology-based instruction, international policies on literacy education, and Hispanic participation in higher education.

Dr. Hernández is a member of the editorial board of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. He is the recipient of several awards, among them, India’s prestigious Priyadarshni Academy’s Global Award for the Promotion of Education, the Prabhakar R. Shukla Humanitarian Award, and the State of New Jersey’s Many Faces-One Family Award. In 2013, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities inducted him into its Hall of Champions, the fourth president to receive this recognition.

Dr. Hernández holds a doctorate in psychology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a bachelor of arts degree from York College of the City University of New York. He resides in Jersey City.

Biographical Sketch of Honorary Degree Recipient
Chirag Patel ’89


Chirag Patel, co-CEO and chairman of Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC, has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and information technology industries. Amneal is currently the seventh largest U.S. generic drug supplier by prescriptions dispensed, according to IMS Health, with a diversified portfolio of more than 80 products. Amneal Pharmaceuticals is also a member of The Amneal Alliance, a strategic alliance of independently managed life sciences companies, which include TPI (Therapeutic Proteins International), Prolong Pharmaceuticals, ASANA Biosciences, and Kashiv Pharma. Headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey, Amneal employs more than 2,600 employees worldwide.

From modest beginnings in 2002, Mr. Patel – who co-founded Amneal together with his brother Chintu and father Kanu, both pharmacists – has spearheaded the generic maker’s record-breaking growth. He initially identified, secured and seamlessly integrated four acquisitions in less than three years, and continues to lead expansion internationally. He is passionate about pursuing excellence across all operations and achieving Amneal’s vision of a fast-growing yet family-oriented pharmaceutical firm. Chirag and Chintu Patel, also Co-CEO and Chairman, were honored with the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year® 2011 Life Sciences Award for their remarkable business achievements.

Mr. Patel is a true American success story. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from H.A. College of Commerce (Gujurat University) in India, where he was President of the Student Council, he arrived in the U.S. in 1987 at the age of 20. He continued his studies while working part-time and received a B.S. in business administration from New Jersey City University in 1989.

Armed with a formal business education, Mr. Patel embarked on a career in technology with Fortune 50 companies, holding increasingly senior positions in operations, finance, corporate planning, and business development at Unisys Corporation, Terex Corporation, and York International. But he dreamed of success as an entrepreneur.

Mr. Patel went on to co-found NextGen Technologies, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation firm, in 1997, and Veriprise Wireless, a supplier of wireless business-to-employee (B2E) solutions, in 1999, before co-founding Amneal in 2002.

He is steadfastly pursuing Amneal’s goal of becoming a Top 5 global generic drug manufacturer. Mr. Patel credits his business and personal growth to family values, integrity, risk-taking, and having a broader vision beyond selfish goals. He has used these principles in building Amneal to its present level of success, with potential for much greater growth. Mr. Patel believes that challenges will come, but one must train oneself to stay focused on reaching personal, long-term goals. With philanthropy and service being a core value of Amneal’s, and among the many platforms the company contributes to, Mr. Patel also founded the Niswarth International Foundation, which focuses on education and upbringing of less advantaged children to their full potential.

Mr. Patel has been a member of the NJCU Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2012. The NJCU Alumnus of Distinction award was presented to Mr. Patel in June 2014 at the NJCU American Dream Gala on Ellis Island.
 
 
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