A Reflection on Saint Peter’s from the Class of 2022 Valedictorian Jesse Resurreccion

Jesse Resurreccion ’22 graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in marketing management. During her time at Saint Peter’s she served as the treasurer for the John T. Coughlin History Club, as a fashion coordinator for F.A.M.E., as president of the Business Law Association and as a member of the Goldman Sachs Local College Collaborative (LCC). She also held a civil law internship with the Hudson County Superior Court. Since commencement, the valedictorian took some time to reflect on her experience at Saint Peter’s University.

What is your favorite Saint Peter’s memory?

One of my favorite Saint Peter’s University memories was meeting Martin Luther King III H ’21. Coming face to face with this individual, I felt like I was staring into the eyes of history, someone who had witnessed the Civil Rights movement firsthand. His demeanor was dignified, gentle and profoundly humble, which exemplified the power of his leadership. I knew he was carrying on the great American legacy that his father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. H ’65 treasured.


I had the pleasure of speaking with him and we exchanged our ideologies about service. I remember his eyes glimmered when I stated that, “In order to serve you must always believe you are in the position to give.” I remember he smiled at me, truly knowing that his message resonated within me. This memory will stay with me as one of my favorite moments in my life.

What is one piece of advice you have for the incoming freshman class?

When you’re establishing your career goals, look up job listings during freshman year. Find the jobs you are most interested in and take classes with extracurricular activities that gear towards that path. Additionally, take internships within that field so that you have a lot of experience by the time you graduate. Visit the Center for Career Engagement and Experiential Learning (CEEL) as soon as freshman year so that you can learn how to write a resume, cover letter and gain other necessary professional skills.

What is one thing you would have done differently over your time at Saint Peter’s?

I am immensely grateful for the academic and professional experience that I gained at Saint Peter’s University. The faculty were immensely knowledgeable, dedicated and compassionate towards the students throughout the challenges we faced, especially the COVID-19 pandemic. If I were to change my actions, I would further study even more courses that delved deeper into my career. I thoroughly engaged in and enjoyed the subjects taught at Saint Peter’s University. If I could delve even further into these subjects in any capacity, I would. 

What was your favorite course?

My favorite courses were all of the classes I took in business law, under Lori Buza, J.D., chair and professor of accounting and business law, and all of the business administration courses I took under Raymond Butkus, executive lecturer of business administration and director of the Center for Leadership Studies, and Mary McDonough, Ph.D., assistant professor.

I also enjoyed the Black theology course I took with Rev. Marion Franklin, Ph.D. and the English composition course I took with Professor Brian Morgan. These classes played an integral part in my scholastic development at Saint Peter’s University. They taught me how to use intelligence with the purpose to serve others with strength and empathy.

I was also challenged academically in the Goldman Sachs LCC 5.0 program, the Town and Gown capstone, during my honor’s thesis, in the contemporary legal issues course, the introduction to data science class and many others.

What will you miss most about Saint Peter’s?

There is a certain essence that can only be felt and experienced at Saint Peter’s University. It’s this beauty and legacy that permeates the hearts of its faculty that touched the lives of students for many generations. There is an undeniable community bond and genuine care for others. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could go to college given my financial circumstances and limitations. It felt like a dream to go to a Jesuit college and I cherished every second of it. I know I made the right decision choosing Saint Peter’s University. It is said that, “education is the foundation upon which we build our future.” Saint Peter’s was the life-changing difference for my future.

I will miss the faculty who provided me with an education that changed my life. They were truly caring, intelligent and kind leaders who I believe deserve immense credit for raising up so many great hearts and minds.


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