Speakers & Honorees

Commencement Speaker & Honorees

Commencement Speaker & Honorary Degree Recipient

Headshot of Dr Gwen-Marie MoolenaarGwen-Marie Moolenaar, Ph.D., ’62, is the first black female in the U.S. to be awarded the Ph.D. in Neurophysiology. She received that degree from Indiana University in 1972. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the College of Saint Elizabeth, she was awarded a Teaching Fellowship by Long Island University from which she received a Master of Arts Degree in Biology in 1967.

Upon completion of her postdoctoral studies at Cornell University School of Medicine in New York in 1971-72, she joined the faculty of Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM) in Washington, D.C. where for 16 years she taught medical, dental, and graduate students. During her tenure at HUCM she served as Chair of the Physiology Department’s Doctoral Program, the Medical Neuroscience Program, and the Teaching Committee in Physiology. Dr. Moolenaar returned home to the Virgin Islands in 1988 as a Visiting Scientist at the University of the Virgin Islands and quickly advanced to become Executive Assistant to the President, Director of Sponsored Programs, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and later Provost.

Prior to retirement in 2010, she served as Head of her high school alma mater, Sts. Peter and Paul School, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Throughout her career she was an active member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and served on the advisory boards of the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation and the American Heart Association. Dr. Moolenaar is the mother of one daughter and grandmother of three. In recognition of her more than 30 years of remarkable leadership and commitment to higher education, the College of Saint Elizabeth is honored to award Gwen-Marie Moolenaar, Ph.D., with the Doctor of Laws Degree, Honoris Causa.


Honorary Degree Recipient

Headshot of William J MarinoWilliam J. Marino holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from St. Peter’s College in Jersey City. He is the retired Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ), having served as the company’s Senior Vice President of Health Industry Services prior to becoming President and CEO in 1994 and Chairman effective January 2010. Prior to joining Horizon BCBSNJ, he was Vice President of Regional Group Operations for New York and Connecticut for the Prudential, capping a 23-year career with them.

Currently, he is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and a member of the Board of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. He also serves on the Campaign Committee of Saint Vincent Academy and on the Board of Trustees of Delbarton School. Mr. Marino has served as a board member of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the National Institute for Health Care Management and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Inc., New York Business Group on Health, New York State HMO Conference, the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce, Newark Alliance, Newark Museum, Liberty Science Center, St. Peter’s College, Community Theatre of Morristown, and United Way of Essex and West Hudson.

In 1997, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and in 2007 received The American Conference on Diversity’s Humanitarian of the Year Award. Mr. Marino and his wife, Paula, have four children and seven grandchildren and reside in New Vernon, N.J. In recognition of his leadership in health care, education and the arts, the College of Saint Elizabeth is honored to award William J. Marino the Doctor of Laws Degree, Honoris Causa.



Honorary Degree Recipient

Headshot of Virginia E McGloneVirginia E. McGlone, Ed.D., Professor Emerita of Mathematics and Computer Science, left a legacy of scholarship and great competence to the College of Saint Elizabeth Community during her 40 years of service. Dr. McGlone earned her BA degree in mathematics from the College of Mt. Saint Vincent, an MA degree in mathematics from Fordham University and her Ed.D. from Columbia University. She also received an MA in computer science from New Jersey Institute of Technology. During her 40 years of teaching at CSE she rose to the rank of Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science.

Dr. McGlone served as the chairperson of the steering committee for the Middle States Commission in 2005. She served on a host of committees at CSE - Academic Life, Faculty Affairs, Strategic Planning and the Centennial Celebration Committee. She received the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Award for Excellence. Also, she was awarded by the College of Saint Elizabeth the Kelligar Award in 1994 and the Sister Regina McClory Award in 2006. Dr. McGlone and her husband Jim have been married for more than 50 years and have four children and 17 grandchildren. For her esteemed work at the College and dedication to higher education, the College of Saint Elizabeth is honored to award Dr. Virginia E. McGlone the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa.

Commencement Student Speakers

Women's College

Shannon Tipton is this year’s CSE Women’s College student speaker. Shannon earns a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a minor in Psychology from the College of Saint Elizabeth May 18‚ 2013 and will be the CSE Women’s College Student Speaker during Commencement ceremonies that day.

Shannon served CSE as Vice President of the Student Government Association‚ Class of 2013 and the Student Take Action Committee. She participated in Campus Ministry and the International Intercultural Club. She has acted as a Student Ambassador‚ a peer advisor‚ and a representative for the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees.

Shannon was captain of both the CSE swim and cross country teams and was a member of the tennis team. Shannon was recognized by the NCAA for her sportsman-like conduct and awarded the Northeastern Athletic Conference Sportsmanship Award. She received the CSE Sportsmanship Award and was twice named Most Valuable Player for our Swim Team.

In recognition of her musical experience and talent‚ she has received numerous awards and honors including the CSE Music Department Performance Award‚ Alumnae Association Leadership Award for Music‚ and the Earl Hartmann Music Award. She was granted a scholarship and was the competition winner for the Assisi Performing Arts Festival in Assisi‚ Italy.

Shannon volunteers at Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life‚ and Change a Life Uganda: Quarters for Water project.

Upon graduation‚ she will join the Salesian Lay Missionaries for a year before continuing her musical and academic pursuits.

Her speech is entitled “We Are” is about the legacy and sisterhood of the Class of 2013.


Adult Studies 

Bernadette M. Cardillo‚ RN‚ CCRN‚ CPAN is this year’s adult student speaker. Bernadette earns her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the College of Saint Elizabeth May 18‚ 2013 and will be the CSE Adult Student Speaker during Commencement ceremonies that day.

In 1985‚ Bernadette obtained a diploma in nursing from Muhlenberg Hospital School of Nursing‚ Plainfield‚ N.J. and served as class valedictorian. That same year, she received an associate degree in science from Union County College‚ Cranford‚ N.J.

She began her career in Plainfield‚ N.J. at Muhlenberg Hospital as a staff nurse in the Intensive Care Unit in the role of a charge nurse and preceptor and advanced to the Cardiac Care Unit‚ and Post-Anesthesia Care Unit.

In 2002‚ she joined the staff at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center‚ where she provided nursing care to patients in the Emergency Department. A few years later‚ she transferred to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit.

Since 2010‚ she has been the Assistant Nurse Manager of Surgical Services at Hackettstown Regional Medical Center‚ where she oversees the daily operations of five patient care units. Since beginning her career as a registered nurse in New Jersey 28 years ago‚ she has continuously worked in critical care.

She is a nationally certified critical care registered nurse‚ a certified post anesthesia nurse and an advanced cardiac life support instructor.

She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing‚ American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the American Society of Peri-Anesthesia Nurses.

Bernadette’s speech titled‚ “The Take-Away‚” is about life values.