Alumni, Alumnae, Alumnus, Alumna: What’s the Difference? [Infographic]

Blame it on the English language.

Not only is it filled with complex grammar, vocabulary and spelling rules and exceptions, but it also has a habit of importing words from other languages.

Because of their Latin origins, traditional words for graduates like alumni, alumnae, alumnus and alumna are often misused by English speakers unfamiliar with the rules of this classical language. These nouns retain their Latin roots and change depending on gender and number.  

Topics: Graduation

9 Seemingly Innocuous Things That May Prevent You From Graduating

Congratulations! You have worked hard to earn your degree, and now nothing will stop you from having that diploma in hand.

But are you sure?

Topics: Graduation

The What, Why and How of Honor Cords at Commencement [Infographic]

Graduating from college is an incredible achievement. In recognition of this accomplishment, the commencement ceremony is a graduate’s day of celebration, the culmination of hard work and determination with every stride across the stage. Long a tradition at commencement, honor cords are worn for the ceremony, with each color recognizing the wearer as a recipient of a significant achievement or award. But what are these colors? What do they signify? And why do they mean anything at Thomas Edison State University? These questions, and more, are explained, in this honor cord infographic.

Topics: Graduation

Don't Forget These 7 Things on Graduation Day


After waiting 3, 4 or 20 years, the BIG DAY is finally here.


You are probably feeling a mix of emotions now: nervous, excited, relieved, worried, eager and, most likely, stressed. Stressed about arriving at commencement on time, stressed about the kids’ inability to sit still, stressed what the future will now hold…

But you don’t have to feel that way. The day should be a celebration filled with joy, laughs and tears - the good kind, of course. So relax, take a deep breath, and remember these seven tips to ensure your graduation day is everything you dreamed it would be. 

Topics: Motivation, Graduation

The 7 Best Life Lessons from 2013 Commencement Speeches

Arthur C. Brooks

Arthur C. Brooks, above, B.A. '94, named commencement speaker for the 2013 Thomas Edison State College Commencement on September 28th. In just five years, Brooks went from being the associate principal French hornist for the City Orchestra of Barcelona to emerge as one of the country's leading social scientists focusing on the relationship between culture, economics and politics. Brooks assumed the presidency of the American Enterprise Institute in January 2009.

We are always receiving (be it warranted or unwarranted) advice, hearing tips and opinions on every topic from raising kids to eating right, dating to careers, and everything in between. After awhile, advice (especially from certain people) can be annoying or even offensive, and we end up tuning out the message. However, the advice we really should be listening to is not really advice at all, but life lessons intended to help us think. To be more open-minded. To be more understanding of the world around us.

Topics: Going Back to College, Motivation, Graduation

5 Celebrities That Proved It Is Never Too Late to Go Back to School

We all have different reasons for returning to college. Perhaps it is to improve your career opportunities or increase your chances for a high-paying job. Maybe you are looking for the competitive edge that will enhance your marketability or help you triumph over any adversity in an economic downturn. Or, earning your degree is a personal goal, driven by your sense of pride and self-fulfillment.

Regardless of reason, you are not alone in choosing to pursue your education. And celebrities are no different. Household names like Steven Spielberg and Shaquille O’Neal were once in your shoes, choosing to go back to school after establishing noteworthy careers in their field. Filled with dreams and determination, these five celebrities prove that it’s never too late to go back to school, even when you sell millions of albums, smash box office records or slam dunk your way into sports history.

Topics: Areas of Study and Degree Programs, Motivation, Graduation

On Your Mark, Get Set... Study! Running the Marathon of College

Marathon Meets College

"Whether you are gearing up to run a race or getting ready to return to college, you are preparing to accomplish a major milestone in your life."

“We all have dreams; in order to make dreams come into reality it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort."

- Jesse Owens, Olympic Gold-Medalist runner

Whenever the Trenton Half Marathon approaches in the fall, avid and amateur runners from all over the world stretch, strengthen and push themselves to prepare for the big event. And in homes, libraries and offices across the country, students continue to proof-read assignments, check their reading lists and gear up for exams as they head toward a different type of finish line. Whether you are gearing up to run a race or getting ready to return to college, you are preparing to accomplish a major milestone in your life. You can see the finish line as you hit the “submit” button on your application for graduation, or sprint toward the last credits you need to fulfill your degree program requirements. After all that training, studying and preparing, at the end of the day, you did it. With your friends and family cheering you on at graduation or at the finish line, maybe a marathon and college aren’t so different after all.

Topics: Going Back to College, Motivation, Graduation