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Exceptional SNR Students Recognized at Honors Convocation

November 19, 2014

An alumna of The College of New Rochelle who has succeeded in both the corporate and nonprofit worlds returned Saturday to help recognize the academic achievements of students in the School of New Resources at its Honors Convocation.

"Celebrating your academic accomplishments is central to our mission and to our commitment to provide you with the highest quality academic programs," said President Judith Huntington.

President Huntington and Dr. Darryl Jones, Dean of the School of New Resources, presented the student awards. "This is a very important ceremony in the life of The College and the School of New Resources, and I am delighted to be able to publicly acknowledge, on behalf of the faculty, the academic achievements of our students," Jones said.

The College recognized Honors students, students with a GPA of 3.7 or better for two consecutive semesters of full-time study; Dean's Grant recipients, students with a GPA of 3.7 or better with at least 60 credits; and Dean's List students, with a GPA of 3.3 or better through two consecutive semesters.

"You are part of a rich legacy, and I look forward to one day reading of your achievements," Huntington said. She added that she hoped to welcome them back to share their story of success, just like the day's speaker, Rosa Boone-Morgan.

Born and raised in segregated Georgia, Boone-Morgan left Knoxville College in Tennessee and moved to New York City in search of a more exciting life. "To a country girl, New York City was unlike anything I could have imagined," she said. "The pace of the city resonated with me – it was a good fit and I could not wait to start living."

She became pregnant and got married, and went through a succession of key positions with solid companies – CBS Television, marketing research and advertising firms. At Corporate Audit Company, she brought so many skills and knowledge from her previous jobs that she was quickly promoted. "I always had good jobs, so I never really thought much about going back to school," Boone-Morgan said.

But in her late thirties, a friend told her she had enrolled in the School of New Resources. "She sounded so excited," Boone-Morgan said. "At first, I couldn't imagine going back to school at such an old age. Working, going to school, and taking care of home life seemed like a daunting task."

Going to school was now different than it had been when she was a kid off the farm, Boone-Morgan said. "I was an adult, I had some life experiences under my belt, and I really wanted to set a great example for my son."

Boone-Morgan graduated from SNR in 1988, and earned a Master of Science in Gerontology from the Graduate School in 1991. But as she earned her degrees, the company she was working for went out of business. Searching for a new job, she found an ad for a newsletter writer at Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless. In a matter of months, she had been promoted to executive director.

"I am sure that I never would have been promoted … without the degrees I earned at The College of New Rochelle." The work was the most rewarding she had ever done, Boone-Morgan said. "That was what I had been missing all those years hopping from job to job – I needed a career, not just a job."

Boone-Morgan is now deputy commissioner for the Westchester County Department of Social Services, overseeing the Family Investment Division, with district offices in Mount Vernon, Yonkers, White Plains, and Peekskill.

While Boone-Morgan could have gotten her education elsewhere, she said the School of New Resources was the right fit for a number of reasons – the emphasis on social consciousness, an environment that understood the need for spiritual guidance, and accommodating working adults.

"You have accomplished important things so far, but never stop working," Boone-Morgan told the students. "If you can't change the world, just change one person's world."

"Rosa has inspired many to look beyond themselves and offer their time," Huntington said. "She exemplifies the very essence of the College's mission and has used her education in service to others."