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TESU Celebrated Its 51st Annual Commencement on Saturday, Sept. 30

The University celebrated the Class of 2023 with an address from Jon Runyan, legendary offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Thomas Edison State University celebrated more than a half century of innovation and transforming students’ lives at its 51st Annual Commencement, on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, N.J.

This year the University was honored to have student speaker Jon Runyan, a 2023 recipient of a Bachelor of Arts degree, deliver the response for graduates. Currently vice president of Policy and Rules Administration for NFL Football Operations, overseeing club- and game-related activities surrounding its players, Runyan has continuously drawn from his experiences on the gridiron in his broadcasting, government, business development and NFL football compliance endeavors. The former offensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, who also served as a U.S. congressman representing New Jersey from 2011 to 2015, told the Class of 2023, “What TESU does in the adult learning space is to create opportunities for unique lifelong learners and no other institution does it as well… Congratulations to my fellow graduates and thank you TESU for making a lot of dreams possible today.”

The Class of 2023 included 1,849 graduates and approximately 400 attended the ceremony. The graduates came from 32 U.S. states including Oregon, Texas and Hawaii and from as far away as the Bahamas and Aruba.

Dr. Merodie A. Hancock, president of TESU, acknowledged the challenging work of the graduates, affirming, “Each of you travelled down your own road – a road where today’s academic achievement is built on – and indeed coexists – with personal responsibilities, community commitments, professional growth and a host of life experiences. Your road is paved with knowledge accrued not only from university coursework, but also from the greatest teacher of all, and that is life… I want to thank each of you today, for braving the roads less travelled, for committing to lifelong learning and personal achievement, and most of all for showing the world what TESU alumni are made of!”

During the ceremony, the University recognized New Jersey State Sen. Troy Singleton with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Singleton represents New Jersey’s 7th Legislative District.

Thomas Edison State University has awarded approximately 73,583 degrees to more than 66,477 graduates since it began providing distinctive undergraduate and graduate education for self-directed adults through flexible, high-quality collegiate learning and assessment opportunities in 1972.