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May 18, 2003

Camden County College graduates 35th class

From: Cherry Hill Courier Post, NJ - May 18, 2003

1,100 students hear freeholder urge involvement in the world


When Erin Wingenroth first walked through the door at Camden County College, a college degree was the last thing on her mind.

The 32-year-old single mother from Atco, who was working as a maid, had lost her hearing to a bout of meningitis when she was an infant.

The college's employment opportunities for the deaf offered the promise of a better job.

That day she took the first step toward becoming a math teacher.

"I want to represent the deaf community," said Wingenroth, one of 1,100 Camden County College students to earn an associate's degree or certificate at Saturday's graduation.

"I know a lot of deaf people are poor in math. I'd like to change that," she said.

Family members gladly braved unusually low temperatures and gusty winds to witness their loved ones receive their degrees.

"Last year we had a very big rainstorm," said college spokeswoman Susan Coulby. "It was really wet."

After three consecutive years of graduation-day rain, the college was taking no chances.

Keynote speaker Riletta L. Cream, a county freeholder, delivered her message of community involvement from under a 2,000-seat, 100-foot-by-180-foot tent.

"Don't play it safe, get involved in the world," Cream told the college's 35th graduating class. "Give back to your community. Ask yourself what you can do to make the world a better place."

Cream encouraged the new graduates to volunteer.

"What you do matters," Cream said. "So there you have it - the Riletta L. Cream formula for life after graduation."

Copyright 2003 Courier-Post.