Did you know that 42% of students from the William Paterson University Class of 2019 were first-generation graduates?

Learn more about our legacy of educating first-gen students and hear from four recent grads via NJBIZ: wpunj.us/H96D79

Sandra Murillo came to the United States in 1996 with the dream of earning a college degree. When Sandra completed her first semester at William Paterson University, her daughter Katherinn was so inspired that she enrolled, as well – taking summer classes to catch up to her mother in hopes that they could graduate together. This year, that hope was realized as they crossed the stage at the #WPUNJ2019 commencement ceremony 🎓🧡

See more: https://youtu.be/FQjQe42M62s

“#IAmEOFNJ – I am a proud alum of the William Paterson EOF program and a first-generation graduate. Carmen Ortiz gave me an opportunity of a lifetime when she accepted me into the program. I will always be proud of being #EOF and part of a legacy that truly makes a difference in our society. May we continue to rise, reach new heights, and soar forward in life.”

Shared by @marktravrivera on Instagram

“I believed I could so I did.”

Shared by @rob.hndz on Instagram

WP Cheerleading took home first place at the 2019 American Cheer and Dance “Reach the Beach” National Championship in Ocean City, Maryland. They competed against teams from around the country in the small advanced co-ed college division 🧡 #WeAreWillPower

“Something that makes my #WPUNJ2019 story unique is that it began long before me and that it will end long after me. In 1970, my grandfather graduated with his teaching degree from @wpunj (back when it was not yet a university). Little did he know that in 2017, my older sister would graduate WP with a teaching degree of her own, or that in fall 2019 my little brother would be beginning his freshman year at WP, and that tomorrow morning I too would be proudly graduating from his alma mater. My grandfather may not have played a long role in my life but he played a big one, and tomorrow I will carry on his legacy as I humbly accept my B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Social Justice. I say with the utmost sincerity that I am proud to be a pioneer 🧡”

Shared by @girlofsimplicity on Instagram

“Crying because I didn’t think I could make it or would ever make it to this point in my life ever. I couldn’t be any more grateful although it’s bittersweet. Thank you to everyone I met during my college experience. I hold a lot of you very close to my heart. 🙏🏾♥️ it’s honestly so surreal… from #dogoodwp to #didgoodwp”

Shared by @princessmononikki on Instagram

Financial planning student Michele Boyle ‘20 was one of 12 students from across the country to be awarded a $5,000 TD Ameritrade Institutional NextGen Scholarship! Michele was also invited to visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square to help ring the closing bell. #WeAreWillPower

“William Paterson University has helped me develop in so many ways. I went from lacking confidence to being able to speak in front of large groups of people. From being shy to blossoming into the bubbly person I am today. WP challenged me, but provided me with all the resources I needed to succeed. I am beyond thankful for the opportunities this university and its faculty have blessed me with. William Paterson University & Honors College — thank you ❤️”

Shared by @_dharajadav_ on Instagram

“Explorations Poster Presentation”

Shared by @sarawithoutdah on Instagram

“Bittersweet mood for graduation in a few days 😊 🎓 Thank you Willy P for all the great years and experiences that helped in shaping me today. Much love to all the amazing friends I made in my 4 years here. #wpunj2019

Shared by @malcolm.q on Instagram

Chadeira Moore ‘19

“Reflecting upon the past four years, my experience at William Paterson University has shaped me into the woman I am today. Prior to enrolling at WP, I could never envision myself with a bachelor’s degree. I struggled in classes throughout high school and assumed I would have a similar experience in college. However, as I soon came to find out, that was the furthest thing from the truth. Being a Pioneer not only showed me my capabilities, but helped me find my purpose. Throughout my college career, I’ve maintained a high GPA, made Dean’s List several times, balanced three internships and two jobs, launched my own business and contributed in a variety of clubs and organizations. With my experiences, education and connections, I am ready to move onto the new chapter. I am proud that I have been accepted into WP’s MBA program where I will be starting in the fall. I have officially blossomed into a confident and successful professional and I cannot thank William Paterson enough for that.” #WeAreWillPower

Moe Hamdeh ‘19

“Believing in yourself is the first step to success and William Paterson University instilled in me a tremendous confidence. I’ve learned that although some people will doubt or overlook over you, what’s crucial is that you continue to persevere. I am a finance and professional sales major who recently won the William Paterson University Pitch Tank competition and went on to represent the University at the state-wide U-Pitch NJ. I was honored to compete on behalf of William Paterson University as I had the confidence to go out and show the state that WP is a force to be reckoned with and success is our destiny! If you don’t believe in yourself, then who will? Go out and make your dreams a reality!”

“Finish my honors thesis and present it to anyone who will listen ✅
All jokes aside, feeling blessed to have completed this research and present it on various occasions both on campus and in Baltimore!”

Shared by @geminemmm on Instagram

“Had a blast presenting research at the WP Research Symposium! All the Environmental Science Dept. presentations were flawless, great job everyone!”

Shared by @rywizz on Instagram

“Today after four long, difficult years I was pinned, earning my BSN degree. I am sad that my time at WPUNJ is ending, but with every ending, there is a new beginning. I am excited to start my career as a nurse doing what I love every day. I truly believe in this quote “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” It is important to have not a job, but a career, that you have a passion for. Something you can wake up to every day knowing it is what you want to do for many more days. During my clinical and work experiences, I knew this is what I was born to do; caring for patients and families while making a difference every day. I am very excited for my journey ahead as Brielle BSN, RN 💘 #WPUNJ2019″

Shared by @brielleee_ on Instagram

Our student-athletes mean business – 61 Pioneers achieved academic accomplishments that earned them spots on the 2018-19 Academic All-NJAC Team 📚 #WeAreWillPower