College Celebrates Inaugural Spring Commencement on April 16

April 18, 2011

Thomas Edison State College’s inaugural Spring Commencement Ceremony took place Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m., in the historic College Avenue Gymnasium at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

Watch the 2011 Spring Commencement Video

Spring 2011 Commencement

Approximately 200 graduates from 21 states and their families attended the Spring Commencement Ceremony.

Diane M. CostanzoDiane M. Costanzo, of Mount Laurel, N.J., (pictured right) gave the Response for Graduates. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree and a graduate Nurse Educator certificate with a 4.0 grade point average.

"Throughout my life and career, education has been a continual thread implanted in the belief that lifelong learning is essential to personal and professional growth," said Constanzo, the patient care administrator at Virtua Home Care. "You all know that life is a journey, and Thomas Edison State College has given us tools in order to be successful in today’s environment."

Costanzo, who is also a graduate of Widener University and St. Joseph’s University, reminded her fellow graduates that they all have the power to make a difference.

"While several of our courses were cutting edge and broadened our horizons, some of them taught us about the heart of humanity," she said. "As a nurse, the class that changed my life the most was Nursing Leadership in a Global Community. It made me aware that as a nurse I can have a greater impact not just in my community, but in the world. That class taught us we can all make a difference, no matter who we are.”

Legendary NASA astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin (Col., US Air Force, retired), a veteran of the Gemini 12 orbital flight mission and Apollo 11 mission to the moon, was scheduled to receive an honorary degree but could not attend the ceremony due to an emergency medical issue.

The college conferred 1,242 degrees as part of the 2011 Spring Commencement and has awarded more than 35,000 degrees since it began providing flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults in 1972.

The college established a Spring Commencement to better accommodate the growing number of graduates and their families who attend commencement. The college will continue to hold its Fall Commencement in October.

About Thomas Edison State College
Thomas Edison State College provides flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults. One of New Jersey’s 12 senior public institutions of higher education, the College offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 100 areas of study. Students earn degrees through a wide variety of rigorous and high-quality academic methods that can be customized to meet their individual needs. Identified by Forbes magazine as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in the use of technology to create learning opportunities for adults, Thomas Edison State College is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The College is home to The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy. The New Jersey State Library is an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College. Further information about admission to the College may be obtained by calling (888) 442-8372, via e-mail at or by visiting the College Web site at