Aroostook— Northern Maine Community College celebrated the graduation of 178 students during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 13 at the Forum. Students from the Arts and Sciences, Business Technology, Nursing and Allied Health, and Trade and Technical Occupations received their Associates’ Degrees and certificates from 37 programs.
Sara Gideon, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, delivered the commencement address. Gideon, who represents Freeport and parts of Pownal, has served three terms in the state House of Representatives.
“Many of you will stay in Maine, but some of you will be moving out of state, to go on your next adventure,” said Gideon. “Those experiences are fundamental to your development as an individual, but I want to ask this of you. Keep in your mind the idea that you will return here. That you can come back home and impact this state. Because even though you can go as far as your vision will take you and as far as your hard work will take you, the pull and call of home, the need this state and its people have for you, is very real.”
NMCC’s Student of the Year, Amanda Eivers from Presque Isle also addressed the graduates. Eivers had earlier graduated from Maine Maritime Academy and gave up a successful career as a software tester in order to return to Aroostook and pursue the nursing profession at NMCC.
“We have many common threads including that we wanted and needed to continue our education to improve our future. For some, that continuing education was an extension of high school; for others of us it was a change in careers that drove us here,” Eivers explained. “Once here, the faculty and staff of NMCC has done everything possible to help us achieve our goals and to instill in us the idea that learning happens at all points of our lives and must never stop.”
NMCC President Timothy Crowley praised the 18-hundred people in the audience for their support of students.
“We moved this event from the College to the Forum a number of years ago because of the need to accommodate all of you…those who give overwhelming support to our hard-working students. You have every reason to be proud and we are thankful for your part in their success,” said Crowley.
Part of the ceremony is the President’s Award given each year to a person who has committed extraordinary time and energy to the betterment of the College and/or the community. This year the President’s Award was presented to Dennis Curley (known on air as Douglas Christensen), the President and CEO of Channel X Radio. Curley was chosen for his 30 years of broadcasting excellence, outstanding local news coverage and professional investment in our region.