The public event was well attended by friends and family of graduates from 27 programs marching before a capacity crowd.
Speaking to the assembly, KVCC Student of the Year Tammy Jones of Oakland, a graduate of the Occupational Therapy Program, acknowledged the dedication of the Class of 2013.
“We are a diverse class, and we have worked hard,” Jones said. “For some of us, graduation has been a long time in coming. This morning some are fulfilling the dreams of generations in their families by becoming the first person to graduate from college, while others are carrying on the proud tradition of higher education.”
Jones urged her fellow graduates to continue to challenge themselves in the days and years ahead, including doing things that scare them, spending time with people they disagree with, and practicing kindness and forgiveness.
“Most importantly, enjoy the journey,” Jones said. “Half the fun is what happens on the way to your destination. Take the time to experience the experience and love what you do each day. Remember to reward yourself along the way. Tomorrow is not a given and today is all we have. Celebrate it!”
Lawrence A. Wold, Maine Market President for TD Bank was keynote speaker for the event. TD Bank has been a strong supporter of education and provided the lead gift for KVCC’s new health care simulation laboratory, which opened in 2012.
Wold acknowledged the hard work of the graduates, underscoring the importance of basic values and dedication in the work force as graduates move on to jobs in their chosen careers.
“We did an exercise once and asked people to think about the one other employee at the Bank they valued the most and why, and here’s what we got – they were dependable, thoughtful, disciplined, fair, honest, hard-working,” Wold said. “Nobody said smartest or best educated, nobody said best looking or wealthy.”
“Once you start your career I want you to remember that there is a very high demand and, sadly, a very low supply of people who are honest, dependable, thoughtful, disciplined and fair, so they create above average value and each one of you has the capacity to create that value,” Wold said. “I admire each and every one of you and I am incredibly excited for you and the journey you are commencing. I urge you to enjoy the journey and embrace the changes as they come along.”
Speaking at his first Commencement, KVCC President Richard Hopper congratulated the members of the Class of 2013 and lauded the effort and commitment that led to their success.
Hopper spoke of the historical origins of the caps and gowns graduates were wearing and drew laughter as he discussed the importance of enduring such traditions despite the discomfort of wearing medieval clothing.
“Wearing outfits like these requires effort and this reminds us all of the effort each student has put into completing his or her academic program,” Hopper said. “You have worked very hard to get where you are, this is your day to be recognized as an academic, as a college graduate, and as someone who has the tools and motivations to succeed – I am extremely proud of you all.”
Awards given during the 43rd Commencement Exercises included the following:
▪ The Aaron Levine Outstanding Student Award – Raymond Edgar.
▪ The Fred Whitney Award – Joanna Quirion and Melanie Feyler.
▪ The Bernard A. King Award – Rosemary Poole.
▪ The Distinguished Alumni Award – Pamela Brochu, ’93, Nursing.
A total of 517 students were candidates for graduation this year. Not all graduates choose to march during Commencement.
Students graduated from programs including: Advanced Emergency Care, Applied Electronics and Computer Technology, Biological Sciences, Business Administration, Career Studies, Computed Tomography, Computer Information Systems, Computer Science, Education, Electrical Lineworker Technology, Electrical Technology, General Science, Health Information Technology, Liberal Studies, Massage Therapy, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Management, Mental Health, Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Phlebotomy, Physical Therapist Assistant, Precision Machining Technology, Pulp and Paper Technology, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Therapy, and Sonography.
Kennebec Valley Community College is one of seven community colleges in Maine. KVCC prepares full-time and part-time students to enter the job market, to transfer to colleges and universities, and to achieve their professional and personal goals. Programs and services support the economic growth of the community in response to changing needs.
In 2011 and again in 2012, KVCC was named one of the top community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, placing in the top 10 percent of two-year colleges based on student success rates and other measures.
To learn more about KVCC, go to www.kvcc.me.edu.