MCCC Celebrates Accomplishments of 2020 and 2021 College Graduates at Photo Session Meet and Greet

Students worked straight through pandemic to achieve their dreams 

WEST WINDSOR – Joy was in the air August 9, 10 and 11 at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) as happy graduates had photos taken with MCCC President Jianping Wang after the formal commencement ceremony cancellations. Graduates of the class of 2020 and 2021 arrived on campus with friends and family in tow -- all respecting social distancing guidelines laid out beforehand.

Months marked by hand washing, mask wearing and quarantines turned Wi-Fi and Zoom into the best friends of students determined to complete their college degrees. All past struggles were put aside as graduates of 2020 and 2021 arrived on the grounds at MCCC. Students who displayed perseverance and steadfastness unlike any time in history finally enjoyed their moments of triumph, a job well done and a degree well earned. 

The two graduating classes totalled roughly 1,600 students. Starting on Monday afternoon, graduates, friends and family members slowly filtered onto campus in small groups over the three-day period. Proud graduates sported the traditional cap and gown and were more than ready to have their photos taken. Huge smiles and cheers were the order of the day.

One participant in the photo session who was originally scheduled to graduate in 2020, Ryan Coleman of Hightstown, decided to pursue an independent study last year at MCCC during Covid-19 and lived through the struggles most of the students faced. I am grateful that MCCC offered this photo session with Dr. Wang as an option since the graduation ceremony was sadly canceled twice,” he said.“Being at MCCC was very rewarding and, at times, it was challenging. However, I am so thrilled and relieved that I accomplished what I set out to do.”

As a newly accepted transfer student at Rowan University, Coleman plans to attain a bachelor's degree in public relations with a minor in political science.

In a recent speech addressing the graduates, President Jianping Wang said, As part of the Mercer community, you have been resilient and have continued to have succeeded even as your classes moved almost exclusively have reached the finish line, She added, You have risen to the challenge in these most challenging times. We salute you.

Families and students met outdoors at the West Windsor campus quad -- the central courtyard at MCCC.

Lori Diecidue, office administrator and graphic artist in the marketing area at the college, helped organize the bubbling students as they arrived at the photo sessions. Diecidue remarked, Even with social distancing guidelines in place, there was a celebratory feel in the air. 

Some graduates showed up in the traditional formal graduation attire of mortarboard and gown while others donned decorated graduation caps with designs and messages. One creative graduate sported a brilliant display of colorful cut-out butterflies that signified the transition from student life.

The decorated caps were fun and so many were done beautifully, said Diecidue. All of these graduates really needed this time to celebrate and enjoy the fruits of their labor, and it is wonderful that they have this opportunity -- I feel good about being a part of it.

The Classes of 2020 and 2021 included 1,651 graduates, earning 1,716 degrees and certificates. Among these students were 934 women and 717 men. Close to 230 Educational Opportunity Fund students earned their degrees; fourteen of whom graduated with honors.  

Eighteen members of Mercer’s military and veterans student community earned their associate degrees, including 12 vets who successfully transitioned from military service to earning their wings as airplane and helicopter pilots. 

To see more photos and videos from the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 photo sessions, visit Mercer County Community College on Facebook at

- - - - - - - - - - - 

Established in 1966, Mercer County Community College (MCCC) is a publicly supported comprehensive educational institution that provides opportunities for higher education through an open-door admission policy. MCCC is home to 70 associate degree programs and numerous credit and noncredit certificate programs. The college also offers many educational experiences, leadership opportunities and the chance to interact with other students and faculty/staff members in an informal setting. For information about attending Mercer County Community College visit


Return to Current News

MCCC Home Page

wang with Ryan Coleman Class of 2021

Smiles were the order of the day at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) as scores of 2020 and 2021 graduates had photos taken with MCCC President Dr. Jianping Wang on August 9, 10 and 11. Pictured here is Dr. Jianping Wang on left, 2021 graduate Ryan Coleman of Hightstown with his godmother Valarie Hudson. (Photo Credit: MCCC)


Peta-Gaye Wilson 2021 graduate

Peta-Gaye Wilson, graduate of the class of 2021, displays her butterfly mortarboard proudly during one of the Mercer County Community College photo sessions that took place August 9 through 11 on the West Windsor campus. Wilson graduated with an A.S. in criminal justice. She is originally from Portland, Jamaica and now lives in Trenton. (Photo Credit: MCCC)

For more information about enrollment at Mercer County Community College visit