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Monday, May 21, 2018 - 10:15am

(Above, Vanessa Battista '18, third from the left, stands with her boyfriend, Cpl. Chris Verini and College President Timothy Hall among friends and family after graduation.)


For Vanessa Battista, graduating with Mercy College’s Class of 2018 meant more than greeting the future as she walked for Commencement. Battista’s boyfriend, Cpl. Chris Verini, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment stationed in Camp Pendleton, California, was also there to greet her for one of the biggest days of her life.


Verini, who Battista thought would be in California during the ceremony, surprised everyone as he stood waiting for his girlfriend at the end of the stage after her walk. Reunited for the first time since last year, Battista and Verini embraced each other in tears before the entire graduating class; Verini with a bouquet of flowers in hand, Battista with her diploma.



(Above, Cpl. Chris Verini, left, embraces Vanessa Battista '18 after she received her diploma. Click here to view Mercy College's video of their reunion.)


To view additional coverage of the reunion by News 12 Westchester, click here.