76th Session of ALJBS Closes With Graduation

Gov. Murphy speaks, Boys Nation Senators elected\

The 76th session of American Legion Jersey Boys State closed Friday with the graduation ceremony. Boys Nation Senators were elected and announced, exams were completed, graduation certificates were handed out, awards were presented, and families, statesmen, and staff members enjoyed lunch together.

Before the graduation ceremony, ALJBS hosted Family Day. Over 1,500 statesmen, their families and friends, Legionnaires, and staff members ate and took part in a final Retreat ceremony. Family Day, now in its 18th year, is sponsored by the and provides a unique opportunity for statesmen, their parents, and their friends to meet and interact with the friends they’ve made during the weeklong ALJBS program as well as the volunteer staff of ALJBS.

During Family Day, the Harold and Lillian Eaton Award was given to Ridgway County, led by County Counselor Ken Ewers, Senior City Counselors Marshall Lutz and Jeff Waldin and Mayors Luke Wordelmann [Tyler City #9] of Mickleton (Gloucester County), Post #452 and Matthew Alasio [Polk City #10] of New Milford (Bergen County), Post #41. The Walter and Evelyn Howell Award for Best City was given to Fillmore City, led by Senior City Counselor James McManus and Mayor Lance Bae [Fillmore City #12] of Englewood Cliffs (Bergen County), Post #116. Director Bagatelle commended the city and county for their hard work throughout the week and awarded each a special guidon to carry in at graduation.

Graduation was highlighted by a speech from NJ Governor Phil Murphy, who stressed our common values and admonished the delegates to continue working together to pursue unity. U.S. Senators and ALJBS Alumni Cory Booker and Bob Menendez were unable to attend but recorded separate video addresses to the graduates encouraging the delegates to continue practicing democracy in their communities.

New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick J. Callahan also spoke at graduation, admonishing delegates to find their passion and serve in their communities.

Noah Morros [Washington City #1] of South Orange (Essex County), Post #251 and Kyler Zhou [Jefferson City #3] of Titusville (Mercer County), Post #314 as the ALJBS representatives to Boys Nation. Raymond Hennessy [Johnson City #16] of Paramus (Bergen County), Post #170 and Edward Joel [Taylor City #11] of Chatham (Morris County), Post #43 were announced as alternates.

The Todd Eaton Award was presented to Bennett Marshall [Monroe City #5] of Chatham (Morris County), Post #43. The Eaton Award is presented to the delegate who best represents the spirit of the ALJBS program, who has not won the accolades and races that others have but has selflessly given of himself to help others achieve their goals.

The Gordon A. Vreeland Award for best delegate was presented to Noah Morros [Washington City #1] of South Orange (Essex County), Post #251. The Vreeland Award is presented to the delegate who has best exemplified dedication and achievement in the Boys State program. Gordon Vreeland, who served at 52 consecutive sessions of Boys State, made a special return to present the award.

The Samsung Scholarship was presented to Lukas Cornine [Madison City #4] of Jackson Township (Ocean County), Post #504. The Scholarship is given to one New Jersey delegate each year, who is then entered into the scholarship pool with delegates from all other Boys State programs.

ALJBS Webmaster and Program Excellence Coordinator Ty Clark was awarded the Harry V. Groome Award. The Groome Award is given annually and honors the most outstanding staff member of the all-volunteer staff of American Legion Jersey Boys State. Many of the staff volunteer their time in preparation throughout the year during the “off-season” for the weeklong program. Ty’s writing has appeared on this site over the past decade, and he has worked in technology, communications, and operations groups throughout his time on staff.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook. We have loaded many of our pictures within our Photo Albums there, as well, our City Photos and more will be loaded on our Picture Page. Be sure to check out all of our Daily Update Videos, and other videos highlighting our amazing speakers this year including Charles Wiley. Our Instagram has all your favorite photos and our Twitter feed features videos and other content as well. All Alumni of the 2022 program will receive a complimentary yearbook full of photos taken at the session later this summer.

For those interested in returning as a member of our volunteer staff for 2022 and beyond, please click here to submit a Junior Assistant counselor application. Candidates will be identified this winter and invited to next year’s session June 18-23, 2023.

Congratulations to all our winners and to all our statesmen for completing a successful 2022 ALJBS Session!
originally posted June 24, 2022 1700