Dale Cadet was enjoying everything surrounding the June 1 Essex County College (ECC) Commencement with her fellow graduates when President Anthony E. Munroe made an announcement to the Prudential Center crowd.
As Dr. Munroe told everyone to look at the overhead video screens for a special announcement, a recording of U.S. Army Sergeant Diane Cadet – stationed overseas – appeared. “I’m wishing my mom a special congratulations on earning her Associate degree (in Social Sciences),” Diane said. “She comes from a legacy of hard workers; I‘m very proud of her.”
The screen then showed Dale, who exclaimed “that’s my daughter” as applause filled the arena.
“To be honest, I had no idea this was going to happen,” Dale, an East Orange resident, said following the ceremony. “When I saw her on the screen, I thought what was she doing up there,” Dale added with a laugh. As her neighboring classmates asked her if she had known about the video, Dale said no way. “I was really speechless.”
The special video was planned by Diana and her sister Jillian, also of East Orange, about a year ago. Diane filmed it just about a week ago, Jillian said. She thanked the College for showing the video.
Dale spent 20 years working as an electronics assembler before deciding it was time for a career change. She enrolled at Essex County College four years ago, attending class part-time while working full-time. She majored in Social Sciences with the goal of becoming a social worker.
She is considering transferring to Rutgers University to major in Social Work. Although Dale is also considering a return to Essex for the LPN program.
So there may be another Essex graduation in the cards for Dale, although probably without such a big surprise.
“I will always remember Commencement Day 2018; I loved it!”