GRCC Graduation 2019

GRCC Graduation 2019

October 17, 2019 1 By Stanley Isaacs


>>Hello, and welcome to
the 2019 commencement at Grand Rapids
Community College. We’re out here
in the Commons, talking to the
soon-to-be graduates. But we’ve got some students
we’d like to interview, that would like to say
something to folks inside. So the first person
we have is…?>>(with accent)
Svetlana Yugay, and I’m graduating with
my Associate in Science.>>And what do you plan on
doing with that degree?>>I’m going to Ferris
to get my Farm degree.>>Excellent! Do you have
family in there?>>Yes, here is
my husband, Alex.>>What’s he
doing in there? You know, he’s out here–
he’s supposed to be in there!>>He’s graduating with…
>>What are you graduating with?>>(with accent)
Computer Science. My plan, go to
Grand Valley.>>Excellent.>>I want to say
thank you for GRCC for beautiful, smart
teachers and professors. Thank you very much.>>Do I still owe you
the $20 for saying that?>>(laughing) Yes.
>>Okay, I’ll pay you later. Okay, next up,
we have…>>Hi, my name’s
Catherine Crofoot. I’m graduating with an
Associate’s of Arts. And I participate in the
Early Middle College program, so I didn’t have to pay
for anything of my degree, but I plan on going
on to Ferris State and getting my
degree in Education.>>And I barely have no
other questions to ask you except do you have
family in there?>>Um, a shout-out to
my dad and my mom, Lisa. Hi!
>>Hi Dad, hi Lisa. Okay, next up,
we have…>>Alan Perez.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>I’m graduating with
an Associate’s of Arts. And I plan to take my studies
down to Western this fall, where I plan to pursue
a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management.
>>Sports Management. What do you do with
that kind of degree?>>Basically, it involves, like,
the off-field type of work, administrative side,
marketing. And I’m open basically
to all of that. You know, whatever comes in,
I’ll take advantage, take the opportunity,
see how that goes.>>That sounds good! Do you have family in there?
>>Oh, yeah, I do. My parents, my siblings,
and a cousin of mine. I thank them for showing up
and all their support. And I appreciate everything
they’ve done for me.>>Wow, I hope you got him
a good graduation gift. Um, my other question– what
was your favorite class at GRCC?>>My favorite class?>>Did you have a
favorite class?>>I’d say it was
“Business Ethics.”>>Business Ethics! That’s something kinda
missing these days.>>Oh, yeah… yeah.
(laughing)>>Well, it’s good to have you
on board with that one, then.>>Thank you.>>Okay, next up, we have…
>>Landen Flippin.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>I’m graduating with
an Associate of Arts. Not yet having any
plans on transferring. Still solidifying
some career ideas. But I do know where
my interests lie. I’m looking into
theology and psychology, maybe touching
into music. But that might be separate from
school goals and career-wise.>>Well, that
sounds wonderful. Are you– do you have
family in there tonight?>>I do. My– both my parents and
my two little brothers. They’re coming to support.
>>Do you want to wave to them?>>Uh, they’re
not over there.>>They’re not
even in there yet?>>No, not yet.>>Oh, man, well, wave
to ’em over there.>>Hey, when you
guys get here.>>Yeah, whenever
you guys get inside and don’t really
hear this. And next up,
we have…>>(with accent)
Natalie Alvarado.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Associate of Arts
in Applied Science in Juvenile Services.>>Oh, so you’re going into,
like, the prison system?>>Um, most likely working
with juveniles and children.>>Okay, that’s a
pretty tough career.>>Yeah, it is, but I really
like working with children and juveniles. Really, really enjoy working
with them and for them.>>Well, you’re in
the right place, then.>>Yeah, absolutely. I love graduating
from this school. It’s a wonderful one.
>>Excellent. I don’t have to pay
you for this, do I?>>Nope.
>>Okay, excellent. Do you have family in there or
are they still waiting outside?>>No, they’re inside. They got here early– my
boyfriend, my son, and my mom.>>Do you wanna wave
to ’em in there?>>Yup, hello!
>>Hello! And we also have
three graduates who are dressed
identically except for one who
isn’t wearing pants.
(all laughing) We’re gonna let you
figure out who that is. First, we have…
>>Landon Timmer. And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>An Industrial
Maintenance certificate.>>And what do you
want to do with that?>>Probably go to more
schooling, probably Ferris.>>”Probably Ferris”– so you
haven’t, like, made plans yet? Like, applied?
>>No, not yet.>>Okay, you better get on that!
>>Yeah, I will.>>Do you know what that
blue cord is around your neck?>>Uh, it’s for our
Early College program.>>Oh, so he knew– this
guy over here had no clue what the blue
thing was for. And your name is…?
>>Cody Langlois.>>Okay, and you were
going to explain that?>>Yeah, Landon doesn’t
know what it is either.>>Oh, okay, well, he
gave a very good guess. Do you have family in there?
>>Yeah, I do.>>Do you want to
talk about ’em?>>Um…>>Or are you trying
to keep ’em a secret?>>Um, trying to
keep ’em a secret.>>Okay, you can wave
to ’em secretly then. I forgot to ask you, actually–
do you have family in there?>>Yeah, I do.>>Do you want to
wave to them?>>Sure.
>>Who are they?>>My mom and dad,
and my brother.>>Okay, and I mean,
they’re buying you a pretty good
graduation gift then?>>(chuckling)
I don’t know yet.>>I think you should buy him
a really good graduation gift. Like this guy,
for instance. He could use pants.
(all laughing) And your name is…?
>>Brendan Harwood.>>And besides pants, what are you going to
do after graduation?>>I’m starting at Ferris for
Weld Engineering in the fall.>>Okay, so you already
applied, unlike him.>>Yes.
>>Okay–>>But he’s got
pants on, so…>>Yeah, I mean–
>>It evens out.>>Yeah, I mean, with
the wind and your height, you’re going to have a lot of
trouble tonight, aren’t ya?>>Yeah, it’s a
little windy out.
(chuckling)>>It is– it’s
kind of breezy. Do you have
family in there?>>Uh, yes– my mom, my dad,
and my little sister.>>Okay, if you can free
one hand up from not blowing, you wanna
wave to ’em?>>Yes…
‘sup, guys?>>That was a very low-key wave
because, you know, no pants. So over, here, we
have another group. And first, we’re going
to go with you first. What’s your name?
>>Ray.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Certificate of
Culinary Arts.>>Oooh, we got our first
chef-in-the-making here! Where do you wanna–
what’s your ideal job?>>Owning my own restaurant
in the near future.>>That sounds great–
save a table for me, okay?>>Of course!>>And you have
family in there?>>Uh-uh. Just– well, a couple of
friends, but that’s it.>>Okay, well, friends
are like family. Friends are like
family you choose.>>(chuckling) Yeah.
>>You wanna say hi to ’em? Look right into the
camera and say hi.>>Hi!
>>”Hello friends.” Okay, thank
you very much. Next up, we have–
oh, and by the way, she does not want to
be interviewed at all. I had to, like,
drag her up here. And your name is…?
>>Rachel.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>An Associate’s
of Culinary Arts.>>So wait, are
you all Culinary?
>>Yes. (laughing)>>Okay, well, I’m not
going to ask that question. (all laughing) And what do
you plan to do besides have a competing
restaurant from his?>>Oh, uh, I just wanna be
a fine dining pastry chef.>>Okay, so you make all
the fancy desserts you see?>>Yeah!
>>So you work with
Gilles then, huh?>>I do!
(laughing)>>He’s quite a
character, isn’t he?>>Oh, yeah, we have
some good times. (laughing)>>Uh, yeah, he’s a good guy.
>>Yeah. (laughing)>>Do you have
family in there?>>I do– my mom and my dad
and my brothers are coming.>>You want– oh, they’re
coming– they’re not here yet?>>I don’t think
they’re not here yet!
(laughing)>>Okay, well, hopefully,
they won’t be late.>>Yeah, my family is
known for being late, so don’t keep
your hopes up.>>Okay, you can wave to ’em
just in case they’re in there by some miracle.
>>All right… hi!>>”Hi family who’s
not here yet.” Okay, next up, we have with–
wait– Culinary degree is…?>>Molly.>>And what are you going
to do with your degree?>>I want to open
my own bakery.>>Okay, are you going
to, like, hire her?>>Nah, I don’t
want to hire her.
(laughing)>>Oh, okay! Apparently, she doesn’t
like her all that much. (all laughing) Okay, you step apart a
little bit if you want. You don’t have to be friendly.
(both students laughing) Do you have family in there?
>>Yeah, my mom is in there.>>What was your
favorite class?>>I don’t know. All of ’em…
all of ’em!>>Wow, good answer.
>>Yeah. And what was– like, if you
had any place you could work in the whole country,
where would you be?>>I don’t know.>>Well, you just have no
answers tonight, do you? No answers. You know, you should have,
like, prepared something.>>Yeah, it would have
been a good idea.>>Let’s say LA– you
wanna be a baker in LA?>>Sure, why not!
>>Okay, she’s going to LA! There you go. All right, next up, we have–
now, she really wanted to talk. She was one of these
people that, you know, you didn’t have to
really coax her because she really
wanted to be on. And your name is…?
>>Hilary.>>Hilary– hey, I have
a niece named Hilary.>>Aww…
>>And what– and you’re graduating
with a Culinary degree. What do you want
to do with yours?>>I started my own personal
chef business this past year.>>Okay, excellent. So you already have a job.
>>Yup. (chuckling)>>Okay, and what is the
name of your business? You can get a little
free advertising.>>”Turnip the Beet:
Personal Chef Services.”>>Very nice! We’ll look that up when
we get done with this. Do you have
family in there?>>Um, my kids are watching
from home with my family.>>So they’re watching
the live stream?>>They are.
>>Okay, well, you can say hi. If you wave to them, they’ll
be like watching on TV.>>Hi, Caleb, Ashton,
and Adrienne!
(laughing)>>Make sure you’re
watching TV and not something
else right now. ‘Cause I’m sure they’re
watching grad–>>(indistinct).
>>Yeah, Mom’s graduating. Don’t be watching
“Games of Thrones” now. Okay, and next up, we have…?
>>Mackenzie.>>Okay, and this
one has attitude. She didn’t want to be
interviewed either. She’s like, “I’m not
going to say anything.” And clearly,
you’re saying stuff.
>>Yeah.>>And who do you have
in there, family-wise?>>I have my mom and dad,
my two grandmas, and my grandpa…
so hi!>>Look at that–
she’s practiced! She really could
say something. It’s amazing. Wave to
the drone. It’s up there.
>>Ooh! See, we’ve got five students
in very different vocations. First off, we have…
>>Brandon.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Business Administration.>>Do you have
family in there?>>I do.
>>Who?>>I have my mom,
my best friend, and another
best friend, actually.>>Okay, two best friends
and a mom.>>Yeah, mmm-hmm.
>>You want to wave to them?>>Hi!>>What do you plan on
doing with your degree?>>Working. And getting
another degree.>>Plus, you wanted free
food tonight, didn’t ya?>>Free food
is great.>>Okay, we’ll try to–
>>(indistinct).>>That I know of. There might be
free good somewhere.>>Okay, I hope so.>>Okay, I’ll get ya
a pizza or something.>>Ooh, you heard him!
>>There you go. Okay, next up, we have…
>>Brandon. And what are you
graduating with?>>A degree in Business
Administration.>>That seemed to kinda
flub up a little bit. I mean, are you sure you
know you’re graduating?>>Uh… maybe?
>>Maybe, okay, wow.>>(indistinct)
graduating.>>Okay, I think you’ve
got the suit on for it. Whoa! And we lost a lot of
mortars here, okay! Do you have family
in there tonight?>>My mom, my dad,
and my brother, and girlfriend
and her mom.>>Okay, give
’em a wave.>>You’re about 12 feet
high, waving, in there.>>Oh, that’s fine.
>>Okay, he’s okay with that! Okay, next up, we have the
only person in this line who managed to
keep her mortar. And your name is…?
>>Cole Meredith.>>It’s very
windy out here. What are you graduating
with tonight?>>My Culinary Associate’s,
focused on baking and pastry. Okay, so you were
introduced to Gilles also.>>Yes, I was.
>>Good teacher?>>I loved working with
him– he’s very smart.>>Excellent!
>>Yeah.>>All right, do you have
family in there tonight?>>I actually have my mom
and dad in there today, so it’s nice that
they’re back together.>>Oh, nice! Okay, so this is kind of a–
>>Hanging out for the day, supporting
their daughter. I appreciate it.
>>That’s really nice. Do you want to
wave to them?>>Hi, guys!>>And what do you
want to go on to? Like, what are you– what do you
think your best career would be?>>Well, I’m managing
a kitchen right now, but I would like to
just continue my career and get a Bachelor’s
hopefully one day.>>Which kitchen
are you managing?>>Beltline Bar.
>>Oh, I know– great burritos.>>Cinco de Mayo, we’ve
having a big party, so you should come out.
(laughing)>>All right,
margaritas are on her!>>I gotta plug it
while I’m here, right?>>Absolutely you
have to plug it. Thank you very much.
>>Yup.>>And next up,
we have– and wait, you have a
culinary degree also?>>I do.
>>And your name is…?>>Laura.>>Are you able to
keep the cap on now?>>It’s staying right now.
>>It’s pretty windy out. And who do you have
in there, family-wise?>>My mom and dad, and
maybe some of my brothers? Not sure if they’re
gonna be in there or not.>>Well, they’d be jerks
if they don’t show up.>>Yeah, they could be.
(laughing) One of them just told me
he’s not coming, so!>>Well, that’s
pretty rotten! He better get you
a good gift, then.>>Oh, yeah, I’m
sure they will.>>All right, and do you
want to wave to them? Yeah, wave to your brothers
who aren’t even here today. And last but not
least, we have…>>Dustin.>>And you have a totally
different degree you’re going with
tonight, or certificate. What is it?
>>I’m going for
Mechanical Design.>>And is that a degree
or certificate?>>That’s a degree.>>Okay, and what do
you plan to do with it?>>I plan to get a
Bachelor’s in Engineering.>>Okay, and what
is your ideal job? What would you
really like to do?>>Right now, I’m looking at
manufacturing engineering– it’s like setting up
how plants run and stuff.>>Okay,
and if you– what would you say is your
favorite class of all?>>I really liked
Team Design, which I just took
this last semester. I had a lot of fun
with that class.>>You designed teams?
>>Well, we designed as teams.>>”As teams”– you don’t
actually design the teams.>>No, we don’t
design the teams, we designed
gumball machines.>>Hey, cool, it’s one
of my favorite things! So do you have
family in there?>>Yeah, I got my mom,
dad, and little sister.>>Okay, do you want
to say hi to ’em?>>Hi!
>>”Hey!” He’s working on
gumball machines now. Moving up in
the world, so… and we have…?
>>Morgan Brown.>>Now, you and I worked
together on something. What was that?
>>Phi Theta Kappa.>>Yes, the Honor
Society here. I’m very proud of
this young lady.>>–presidents!
>>Yeah, double presidents. And what are you
graduating with tonight? Not that I don’t know
already, but go ahead.>>It’s my Associate
of Fine Arts with the photography focus.
>>I did know that. And do you have family
in there tonight?>>Just my
boyfriend, David. He’s here tonight.
>>Is he outside here already?>>He’s right
over there.>>Yeah, he’s over there–
so he’s not going to see you inside because, you know,
he’s outside.>>He’ll get there,
eventually.>>All right, well, you can wave
to, like, the general crowd ’cause you’re about
12 feet high right now on two screens.
>>Oh, great! Hi!
(laughing)>>What’s your favorite
part of GRCC?>>Student Life,
honestly. Like, being a part
of Phi Theta Kappa has been awesome, but
Student Life, in general, is just so
inclusive and being a part of it
has just been amazing.>>I can
understand that. So thank you
very much. And next, we have…
>>Tikvah Finn.>>I’m the current
president. Morgan was the former
president of PTK.>>That would be
Phi Theta Kappa, ’cause we don’t just
use the letters here. What are you graduating
with tonight?>>An Associate’s
of Arts.>>And what do you
want to do with that?>>I’m going to U of M
for neuroscience.>>Wow, that’s pretty heady.
>>Yeah, yeah, I’m excited!>>So you want
to be a doctor?>>Yup, I want to be a
physician, a neurologist. That’s my plan.>>Okay, excellent, and
who do you have in there? Or are they actually in there?
>>They are actually in there. My parents and my
in-laws and my husband. So, hi Kyle!
>>”Hi Kyle!” Okay, and last but
not least, we have…>>Amber Wychers.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Associate’s
of Science.>>Ooh, and what are you gonna
do with that heady degree?>>Premed, as well.>>Okay, where are
you going for that?>>Grand Valley.
>>Okay. And do you have
family in there?>>Yup, my mom, my grandpa,
my brother, my husband, and my in-laws.
>>Okay, big wave
to all of them.>>Hi!
(laughing)>>And what was your favorite
class here at the college?>>Oh…
>>Or favorite teacher?>>Definitely
Leigh Kleinert.>>Oh, I like her–
she’s a good egg.>>She’s fabulous, yeah.>>Nice– well,
thank you very much.>>Thank you.
>>The first person
we have up here is…>>Alex Whitman.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>A Business minor. I’m going to Western Michigan
to finish off my degree.>>Excellent, and do you
have family in there?>>Yeah, my mom
and my dad… hi.>>They’re probably not
in there right now. You know, they just passed
me a few minutes ago.>>Oh, man, they better
get some good seats then.>>They better!
>>Yeah. All right, and you want to wave
to ’em, just in case, again?>>Yeah.>>Look at that,
what a pro! Okay, next up, we have…
>>Kat Hibschman.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Associate of the Arts,
Pre-psychology. Going to Western in
the fall with him.>>With him?!
>>Yeah.>>Oh, so you two
are together?>>Yes.
>>Oh, excellent! I didn’t even
know that! I wondered why
you grabbed her. And do you have
family in there, too?>>Yeah, my family
is in there– grandparents,
step-mom, dad, mom, and his family
is in there, too.>>Yeah, I know his
family is in there. Do you want to
wave to ’em?>>Yes, for sure.>>And what was your
favorite class here?>>Oh…
>>Or favorite teacher.>>Oh, definitely
Sophie Rubin. “Intro to Behavior
Analysis.”>>Nice, that’s a
very good answer. Okay, now, if you
could move over here. You guys are free, actually,
if you want to run. She did not want to
particularly be interviewed because she’s– thinks
she’s not graduating with an amazing degree
but, in fact, she is. And your name is…?
>>My name is Megan Shaw.>>And what are we
graduating with tonight?>>With a General
Associate’s.>>And what do you
want to do with that?>>I… hopefully want to
transfer to a big university that I haven’t decided on.
(laughing)>>That’s okay–
you know, you got time. You’re young.>>And do you have
family in there?>>I do– I have
both my parents, my older sisters,
and my big bro.>>All right,
give ’em a wave. And try to keep your cap on–
it’s really windy out here.>>Yeah, it’s windy!
(chuckling)>>Okay, thank
you very much. And last but not
least, we have…>>I’m Jonathon Thompson.>>And I see him around
campus all the time.>>I’ve been here
for a while, and I’m just glad
to be graduating ’cause there
was times I thought I would not
make it through here. But I just kept pushing through,
no matter what the circumstances was, and I’m finally
getting to walk. So I’m very excited tonight
about this big moment.>>And what are you
graduating with?>>It was originally
Business Administration. But I changed it
to General Studies because I like to
know a broad band of different
things and stuff, so I can have an expand
of different activities or whatever I want to
go into, later in life. So, just
General Studies.>>Yeah, that’s a
great philosophy. Now, who do you have
in there, family-wise?>>I have my mom,
my dad, and my daughter.>>Excellent, well,
give ’em a wave.>>How you doing,
Mom, Dad, daughter? Nice– glad you
guys are here. 2019 graduation,
it finally came!>>Love this guy,
he’s great.>>GRCC… for life!>>And this one is
particularly nervous. She didn’t
want to come– I really did have
to drag her up here. But your name is…?
>>Amy Blood.>>Look, you’re doing
so well already. And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Applied
Quality Science.>>Okay, and what do you
want to do with that?>>Hopefully find
a different job. (laughing)
A new job.>>Okay, and do you
have family in there?>>Yes.
>>Who are they?>>Mom and Dad, and
brother and sister-in-law.>>And do they have names?
Give me names!>>Jim, Janice,
Jamie, and Sue.>>There we go– well, hello,
all of you J names, and Sue. And what was your
favorite class here?>>Probably the GD&T
with John Greer.>>Okay, good teacher?
>>Yes.>>All right, excellent,
well, thank you very much. Wasn’t that painless?
>>Yes.>>See, I told her
it was painless. And it wasn’t
painless enough that she didn’t want to have
this person next to her. And you are…?
>>Jennifer Burgess.>>And you’re also a very good
friend for going up with her.>>(nervous laughing)
Thank you.>>What are you
graduating with?>>Also Applied
Quality Science.>>Oh, so you’re
classmates, then.>>Yup, although
we didn’t actually have a class together.
(both students laughing)>>That’s probably the
best kind of classmate.>>All right!>>All right, and what do you
want to do with that degree?>>Transfer to Ferris
for engineering.>>Okay, do you have
family in there?>>Yes.
>>Okay, who are they?>>(laughing)
Mom, grandma, husband, and three kids.
>>Oh, “husband and three kids”! They’re just
kind of generic. “Hi, kids, we can’t remember
your names right now, kids, “but we will
eventually.” Okay, what are
your kids’ names?>>Mackenzie,
Avriana, and Grayson.>>Oh, good, I’m glad
you remembered ’em! I’m sure they
appreciate it.>>Okay, next up, we have…?
>>Daniel Cruzan.>>And you actually
got a special award. What was it?>>It was the
GRCC Andrews Award.>>I know, that’s pretty
prestigious around here!>>Yeah, I was
very surprised. It was awesome. It was a great
night to remember.>>Excellent, and who do you
have in there, family-wise?>>Well, I have
my mother Alice, my sister Rachel, my brother and his fiancée,
Terry and Teresa, and my cousin James.>>Now, look at– you two,
this is a good example. He said all of
their names. You, like– I had to, like,
prod you to give names out. I know, they did
a good job on ya. So what was your favorite
class, do you think?>>It was probably the
four Cisco classes I took. Because that really
got me taking off into the Network Administration
side of things. And just kind of skyrocketed
my understanding of networking in general, and how all
that stuff works together. It was very
inspiring.>>Wow, you oughta come
work in our IT department.>>(chuckling)
Well, I have a job right now.>>Oh, well, okay, quit your
job and come work here.>>Nah, I don’t think so.
>>All right, fine!>>I appreciate
it, though.>>All right– you know,
I’m not really authorized to offer you a job but,
you know, if I could, I would.>>Eh.>>Okay, well,
thank you very much. Do you want to
wave to everyone?>>Yeah.>>Hello, family that
he actually named. Unlike these two. And next up, we have…?
>>(with accent) Ephraim Broni.>>And what are you
graduating at?>>Network Administration.>>You want to work in
our IT department?>>Um… I’ll
think about it.>>Okay, see, keep
your options open. That’s a good idea.
>>Yeah. (laughing)>>And who do you have
in there, family-wise?>>I have my wife,
my two kids, and my mom.>>Excellent– you don’t
have to give their names if you don’t want to,
I understand.>>All right, Tristan and
Ezra and Maggie and Frida. Hi!>>Look at that,
very little prompting. Look it, he waved without
saying anything. Thank you very much. And last but not
least, we have…?>>Ethan Moore.>>And what are you
graduating with?>>Business
Administration.>>What do you want to
do with that degree? That’s pretty broad.>>Uh, work on getting
a four-year degree either at Western
or Ferris.>>Nice– that
sounds ambitious! Yeah, that’s kinda my
goal is working up from a four to
then a six, hopefully having a– also
work on paying for it.>>Okay, and do you have
family in there tonight?>>Yup.
>>Who are they? Okay, and you know I’m
going to ask you for names.>>(laughing)
Yup, my mom Teresa, step-dad Ralph, and
then my grandmother Pat, and then my friend James
is also in there as well.>>Okay, excellent–
well, thank you very much. Okay, you guys
are all clear. You can go now,
go back into line. Thank you very much,
appreciate it. And back to you guys
in the fieldhouse. (upbeat orchestral music)>>Welcome to the 2019
Grand Rapids Community College commencement exercises! (bagpipe music) Entering at it this
time is the Dais… the President of the
Grand Rapids Community College, the Faculty Association
President, the Grand Rapids Community
College Board of Trustees, the Provost, the Dean of the School
of Workforce Development, the Dean of the School
of Arts and Sciences, tonight’s
keynote speaker, and the Emeritus
Faculty recipient. (bagpipe music) (applause)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) Carrying the
college’s gonfalons are Josue Kisile and
Jacqueline Nunez. (bagpipe music) Now, please welcome the
Grand Rapids Community College graduating class
of 2019! (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music)>>Carrying the school’s
gonfalons are Will Luna and Lindsey Jones. (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) Now, please welcome
the faculty of Grand Rapids
Community College, led by their respective
associate deans. (applause, cheering) (applause) Welcome to the faculty of
the Biological Sciences. From Applied
Technology. (bagpipe music) From the Automotive
department. (bagpipe music) The faculty from the
Education department. (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) And the faculty from the
Business department. (bagpipe music) From the English
department. (scattered cheering)
(bagpipe music) And the faculty from Computer
Information Systems. (bagpipe music) The Exercise Science
departments. (bagpipe music) The Criminal Justice
department. (bagpipe music) And the Language and
Thought department. (bagpipe music) The faculty from
Mathematics. (bagpipe music) The Secchia Institute
for Culinary Education. (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) Faculty from the
Music department. (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music) The Dental
department. (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) Faculty from
Physical Sciences. (bagpipe music) The Manufacturing
departments. (scattered cheering)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) Mechanical and
Architectural Design. (bagpipe music) Faculty from the
Psychology departments. (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) The Nursing faculty. (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) Social Sciences. (bagpipe music) The Theater
departments. (scattered cheering)
(bagpipe music) (bagpipe music) Occupational Therapy
Assistance. (applause, cheering)
(bagpipe music) Radiologic Technology. (bagpipe music) The Visual Arts
departments. (bagpipe music) And also, please welcome
Academic, Advising, and Transfer Center.
(audience cheering) Counseling and
Career Development. Disability and Occupational
Support Services. (audience cheering) TRiO Student Support Services.
(audience cheering) The Library.
(audience cheering) And tutor
coordinators. (music fading)
(general chatter) Please welcome the President of
Grand Rapids Community College, Dr. Bill Pink. (applause, cheering) (applause)>>Good evening.
>>(scattered) Good evening.>>Boy, if you could
see it from my view, it is an awesome view to
see all of you here tonight. You graduates,
congratulations. But you’re going to
hear that a lot tonight. (scattered cheering)
So let’s get this thing going. Ladies and gentleman,
welcome to the 2019 Grand Rapids Community
College commencement, our institution’s
102nd ceremony celebrating the accomplishments
of our graduates. This academic year,
almost 1,500 students will have received a
certificate, degree, or a statement that
encompasses programs of study from Psychology to
Automotive Technology. Of those students,
some– 450– are gonna cross
the stage tonight. While much has changed
since GRCC was founded as the State’s first
community college or junior college in 1914,
with 49 students, studying from biology,
to Latin, to mathematics… much actually has
stayed the same. We’re are an
institution that is committed to fostering
not only academic growth and success of our students…
but their success also in life. And tonight, we
celebrate those successes. In addition to recognizing
our student achievements, we will also honor people
who have also contributed to the college and
to our community. I would like for
you to, right now, join me in showing
appreciation to the Muskegon Region
Police Pipes and Drums, Professor Kevin Dobreff…
(applause) Associate Professor
Stephen Barton, and Concert Choir…
(applause) and our Associate Professor
Jared Staub, and Wind Ensemble. All of these will be
providing our music tonight. (applause) I’m so pleased and it’s
so good to see family, friends, and
community members here tonight to
celebrate with us. Thank you all for joining us
in saluting the accomplishments of our graduates. Ladies and gentlemen,
please stand at this time for our
National Anthem, which will be led by
Professor Kevin Dobreff, Program Director for
our Music department. (drum roll)>>(all singing)
♪ Oh say can you see ♪ ♪ By the dawn’s
early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly
we hailed ♪ ♪ At the twilight’s
last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes
and bright stars ♪ ♪ Through the
perilous fight ♪ ♪ O’er the ramparts
we watched ♪ ♪ Were so gallantly
streaming ♪ ♪ And the rockets’
red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs
bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof
through the night ♪ ♪ That our flag
was still there ♪ ♪ O say does that
star-spangled banner ♪ ♪ Yet wave ♪ ♪ O’er the land
of the free ♪ ♪ And the home
of the brave ♪ (applause, cheering)>>You may
be seated. Now, ladies
and gentlemen, if you would join me
in a moment of silence so that each of us can
express our appreciation, in our own way,
for the bright future these graduates
would help create. Please join me in that
moment of silence. (silence) Thank you. Now, it is my pleasure
to introduce to you our platform guests
for the evening. Please hold your applause till
we have completed each group as we introduce them. And I’ll ask those who
are introduced to stand as I call
your name. First for our
Board of Trustees, Mr. David Koetje,
Chairperson and retired President and CEO of
Christian Schools International. Mrs. Cynthia Bristol,
Board Secretary and retired Grand Rapids
Community College faculty member. Mr. Kenyatta Brame,
Board Treasurer and Executive Vice President and
Chief Administrative Officer for Cascade
Engineering. Mrs. Kathleen Bruinsma,
Trustee and attorney of
McShane and Bowie Law. Mrs. Kathy Crosby,
trustee and CEO Emeritus of
Goodwill Industries of Greater
Grand Rapids. And Mrs. Sheryl Siegel,
trustee and Board President of
Wellspring Preparatory
High School. Please join me
in a warm welcome for our Board of Trustees
this evening. (applause) Now, let me introduce
to you the other guests who are
on-stage. Dr. Laurie Chesley,
Provost and Executive Vice President
for Academic Students Affairs. Dr. Amy Mansfield, Dean for the School of
Workforce Development. Mr. Mike Vargo, Dean of Schools of
Arts and Sciences. Dr. Frank Connor, Psychology
department professor and Faculty Association
President. Laurie Foster, 2019 Faculty Emeritus
Award recipient and retired professor
of Biological Science. And Superintendent
Teresa Weatherall Neal, Grand Rapids Public
Schools Superintendent and tonight’s
keynote speaker. Please give all
of these guests a warm welcome to
our (indistinct). (applause, cheering) (applause) You may
be seated. So while it is true that
our college would not exist without our
students, it would also not be
a college of regional and national distinction
without the great and incredibly people
who work here, those who I call
the “GRCC family.” Let me introduce to you
and ask them to stand, the greatest faculty, and
staff, and administration in the country, the GRCC faculty, staff,
and administration. Please stand and
be recognized. (applause, cheering) You may be
seated. Now, I also would be remiss
if I did not take some time to recognize those of
you who are parents, family members, and
friends of our graduates. We thank you
for the support that you’ve given
these graduates, but I want to take a moment,
graduates, for you to in your
own way also thank those who
have supported you both throughout
this time that you have
been at GRCC and of supporting
you here tonight. Please show your appreciation
to these people. (applause, cheering) (applause) It is now my
pleasure to welcome Board of Trustees
Chairperson Mr. Dave Koetje to the podium
to recognize our Faculty Emeritus
Award recipient. Chairperson Koetje. (applause)>>I just stood
silent for a moment so someone would clap
at least once. Thank you for
the applause. (audience laughing) I mentioned to our
Emeritus Award winner, “Why was it that she
was the only one “who got bursting
applause “when we were introducing
the guests on the stage?” That is somewhat
symbolic of the staff persons that we
have here in this college. And it gives me a great honor,
on behalf of the trustees, our faculty and staff,
and I’d like to recognize the 2019 Faculty Emeritus Award
recipient, Mrs. Laurie Foster. Laurie Foster has spent
her entire career teaching at
all levels. She has taught
elementary, and middle school students,
high school students, college, teachers, and
her fellow faculty members in the classroom, out of
the classroom, and online. She had a gift for making
her subject relevant to students at
all levels, whether they were enrolled
in honors biology or general biology for
non-science majors. Her skills in the classroom
have been recognized at the college, state,
and national levels. She received the Grand Rapids
Community College’s Excellence in
Education award and Biology Teacher
of the Year honors from the Michigan Science
Teachers Association. Professor Foster
retired in 2016 as a full professor after
working for 25 years in the Biological
Science department. Her legacy lives in the
processes she helped build at GRCC, and through four scholarships
she helped develop to assist future
generations of students. Please join me now in
watching this video tribute. (mellow, ambient
orchestral music)>>All right,
you guys. We have…
landed.>>When I was
hired in 2000 at Grand Rapids
Community College, she treated me
like her equal. She didn’t treat me like
a 20-something new hire. And she shared her
innovative teaching methods, and she was open, and
she always made me feel like she was
approachable, and I could talk to
her about anything.>>She was just always great
at pulling the human element into our professional
development. Sometimes, we would get
pretty techy about things, and she was always one to like,
“Well, let’s just throw in “a group activity or something
like that in the middle of it,” and it really helped,
I think, faculty to learn.>>Her teaching always
seemed to be motivated by her own
curiosity. Made me move
by the wonder that was instigating
me to ask questions.>>I love that–
I don’t know what. It’s just like one of those
really cool little phenomenon.>>I mean, that’s
teaching, right? That’s the difference between
just learning some topic, some information
and becoming– you know, gaining a facility
with some topic or a skill. It takes such time
and such energy, and she just did it
so effortlessly. Just this business of
figuring things out, of finding things out…
like, that was livin’. And so, that was like a
gift that she gave to me that I have
taken with me and tried to spread around
a little bit, if I can, in my own teaching
and in my own research.>>I haven’t met anybody that
she doesn’t really connect with, and she really pushes faculty
to explore their teaching, to love their students,
and just to get better.>>I had this great
role model and mentor I could really
look up to, for 20-some years now has
been an inspiration to me and, most of all, she
has been a great friend. (music)>>I invite Laurie Foster
to come to the podium.>>Thank you very much.
(applause)>>We’re gonna take a
little picture here.
(applause)>>That’s all right.
(applause) (applause)>>Congratulations.
>>Thank you, David. (applause)>>Do me a favor– give one
more big round of applause to Laurie Foster. (applause, cheering) (applause) It’s important to
recognize students when they do great things and
when they have accomplishments. But in my mind, it’s also
important to make sure we recognize
great teaching. And that’s what we just
did with Laurie Foster. So thank you,
Laurie, for what you’ve done
for this institution. At this time, the
GRCC Concert Choir will perform
“This Is Me” from the movie
“The Greatest Showman” by Mac Huff. (Mac Huff’s “This is Me”
from “The Greatest Showman”) (relaxed
piano music)>>(soloist)
♪ I’m not a stranger ♪ To the dark ♪ ♪ Hide away
they say ♪ ♪ We don’t want
your broken parts ♪ ♪ I’ve learned to be
ashamed of all my scars ♪ ♪ Run away
they say ♪ ♪ No one’ll love
you as you are ♪>>(full choir)
♪ But I won’t let them ♪ ♪ Break me down
to dust ♪ ♪ I know that there’s
a place for us ♪ ♪ For we are
glorious ♪ (piano music
swelling) ♪ When the sharpest words
wanna cut me down ♪ ♪ I’m gonna
send a flood ♪ ♪ Gonna drown
’em out ♪ ♪ I am brave ♪ ♪ I am bruised ♪ ♪ I’m who I’m
meant to be ♪ ♪ This is me ♪ ♪ Look out ’cause
here I come ♪ ♪ And I’m marching on
to the beat I drum ♪ ♪ I’m not scared
to be seen ♪ ♪ I make no
apologies ♪ ♪ This is me ♪>>(deep voices singing)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(high voices singing)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(deep voices)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(high voices)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(whole choir)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh
oh oh oh ♪ ♪ Another round of
bullets hits my skin ♪ ♪ Well fire away ♪ ♪ ‘Cause today ♪ ♪ I won’t let the
shame sink in ♪ ♪ We are bursting
through the barricades ♪ ♪ And reaching
for the sun ♪ ♪ We are warriors ♪ ♪ Yeah that’s what
we’ve become ♪ ♪ Yeah that’s
what we’ve become ♪ ♪ I won’t let them
break me down to dust ♪ ♪ I know that there’s
a place for us ♪ ♪ For we are
glorious ♪ ♪ When the sharpest words
wanna cut me down ♪ ♪ I’m gonna send a flood
gonna drown ’em out ♪ ♪ I am brave
I am bruised ♪ ♪ I am who I’m
meant to be ♪ ♪ This is me ♪ ♪ Look out ’cause
here I come ♪ ♪ And I’m marching on
to the beat I drum ♪ ♪ I’m not scared
to be seen ♪ ♪ I make no
apologies ♪ ♪ This is me ♪>>(deep voices singing)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(high voices singing)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(deep voices)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(high voices)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(whole choir)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh
oh oh oh ♪ ♪ This is me ♪>>(deep voices singing)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(high voices singing)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(deep voices)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(high voices)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh ♪>>(whole choir)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh
oh oh oh ♪>>(soloist)
♪ When the sharpest words ♪ ♪ Wanna cut
me down ♪ ♪ I’m gonna send a flood
gonna drown ’em out ♪ ♪ I’m not scared
to be seen ♪ ♪ I make no
apologies ♪ ♪ This is me ♪>>(full choir)
♪ Look out ’cause here I come ♪ ♪ And I’m marching on
to the beat I drum ♪>>(trio singing)
♪ To that beat I drum ♪>>(full choir)
♪ I’m not scared to be seen ♪ ♪ I make no
apologies ♪ ♪ This is me ♪>>(trio)
♪ Whenever the words
want to cut me down ♪ ♪ I send a flood
to drown them out ♪>>(whole choir)
♪ Oh-o-oh-oh
oh oh oh ♪ ♪ This is me! ♪ (applause, cheering)>>Oh, you got to do
better than that. Please, our
Concert Choir. Awesome job! (applause, cheering) (applause) Got me all
excited here. All right.
(audience laughing) Get back focused. So if you look
in your program, you probably notice that
there is not a name included under this section of our night
of “Distinguished Alumni.” Now, the fact that there
is not a name there wasn’t necessarily
a mistake. We just didn’t
tell that person that they were going
to get this award. So let me tell
you who our 2019 Distinguished Alumni
recognition is tonight. Teresa Weatherall Neal has been with the
Grand Rapids Public Schools since she was four years old,
as a student, as a worker, as an administrative
assistant, a coordinator
of compliance, and assistant superintendent
before rising to the role of superintendent
in 2012. She took the job during
challenging times. Through her leadership, the
district has gained state and national
recognition for the success for
increased graduation rates, and reducing chronic
absenteeism. Her efforts include
comprehensive professional development
focused on equity and inclusion and innovative
new school choices. Under Superintendent Neal’s
leadership, GRPS enrollment has increased
for the first time in 20 years.>>Whoo! (scattered cheering)
>>You can clap over that. (applause) Superintendent Neal’s
higher education pathway started right here, sitting
right where you were, earning an
Associate degree at what was then
Grand Rapids Junior College. And tonight, we are
proud to name her the 2019
Distinguished Alumna. Please watch
this video. (delicate piano music) (applause)>>There was really
no other choice. It was just such
a natural place for me to
go to GRCC, which at the time was
Grand Rapids Junior College. So I went there briefly
after high school, and wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready,
and so, I left, and went back
many years later. I worked full-time, and
I was a mother and married, and so, community college
just made it really easy for people
like me to go. They embraced… they
embraced people like me.>>She’s a 35-year veteran
of the district, now she is our
superintendent. It is my honor and privilege
to introduce to you Superintendent
Teresa Weatherall Neal. (applause)>>I had to
think about it when I was asked if I
would lead the district. Because I knew that that was
not something that I liked. I kind of shy away from
being in the spotlight. I talked it over
with my family. I prayed
about it. But I knew that I had been
prepared to do this work. Who can sit in a district
for 51 years and lead it? I knew that it
was my time. We’re on
the move. Again, I am humbled that
you would allow me to serve, thank you for all of your
support, and have a great day. (applause)
Being in the role of the superintendent of the
Grand Rapids Public Schools, first, it’s
an honor. It can be
overwhelming. And even if I stop and
think about it too long, I think it’s probably
a little scary. I don’t know that you
can prepare yourself to do this work.>>Teresa Weatherall Neal, a woman of accomplishment
and inspiration.>>You have to believe that
this is your calling in order to really
make this work, and so it isn’t
just to be prepared. I study
a lot. I read a lot. I’ve always
done that. But the greatest asset, I think,
that I bring to the job is the love that I have for
the kids, for the students, for the parents,
and for the city. I think it’s—
I think it’s love. I think that’s something special
that I bring to the job. (relaxed, inspiring
piano music) I will tell you– and
not just saying this– community college prepared
me truly to be successful. And I say that
even now. Probably the degree that
I was most proud of was my Associate’s
degree. I wouldn’t be
where I am today if I would not have
had the opportunity to take that very
first class, to see if this was something
that I wanted to do. I wouldn’t be the
superintendent of the Grand Rapids
Public Schools had I not had
that opportunity. (relaxed, inspiring
piano music)>>Ladies and gentlemen,
it is my pleasure to bestow the 2019 Distinguished
Alumni award to Superintendent
Teresa Weatherall Neal. (applause, cheering)>>(indistinct speaking).
(applause)>>Yes, yes, here– right here.
(applause) (applause, cheering) (applause) And now, our keynote
speaker for the evening… (all laughing)
I caught her so off guard.>>You did!>>Please welcome
Teresa Weatherall Neal. (applause)>>I apologize–
I am a crier, you guys. (audience chuckling)
I wasn’t expecting that. But I do want to
thank Dr. Bill Pink and the Board of Trustee
for allowing me to share just this
evening with you tonight. And graduates, I do want
you to thank your village because I know that it
takes a village, right? It took this community
and your family members and your support systems, your
children to help you get here. So again, I do want you to thank
them for being in your village. Please. (applause, cheering) And to the class of 2019,
we are so proud of you. Congratulations. You made it. And I know… I know that this
has not been easy for some. So I want to say to you,
not only are we proud of you, but fellow graduates of
this fine institution that you now call Grand
Rapids Community College– I call Grand Rapids
Community College– I know the valuable education
that you received here. I know you had to put in
late nights, research, papers written, a lot
of homework, your exams, but I’m going
to tell you, you are
prepared for– your education here at
Grand Rapids Community College prepared you
for this moment. And I want you to look
at the bright side, you almost made
lasting relationships while you
were here. And you will be able to
take those and move forward. It is such a wonderful,
a wonderful dream to be a part of the Grand Rapids
Community College family, this wonderful
community. Let me tell you a
little bit about myself. In 1977, I walked
across this stage as a graduate of
Creston High School. I became a
full-time secretary in the Grand Rapids
Public Schools. I got married– that’s
what we did in 1977. I’m still married.
(audience laughing) I didn’t know how to
do it, you guys, right? (applause, cheering)
I just stayed. (laughing) But I became a
mother, as well. And I thought
that was my path. I thought that would
be my path forever. Right, that was a
journey that I took, and I was
content. 12 years later,
my sister, Faye– and she’s somewhere
here with me. And I don’t know if
she’d remember this. She called–
she worked at JC. It was JC
at the time. And she said, “Let’s
enroll in a class.” And I was like, “Eh,
I don’t think so.” And she challenged me,
and I said yes. I decided to give
it a chance. And I took my first class…
when I was ready, and that was
“Organizational Behavior” with Dr. Allen. I found that I was able to
connect with the staff here. And I say “at JC,”
it was JC then. They walked me through
the process from enrollment to how to take the class,
everything about college. The faculty members here
helped me to do that. I can vividly
remember, I was so proud of myself
but I was scared. I was nervous. And my greatest fear,
my greatest fear… “Could I
keep up? “Was I too old?” And that was in
1989, you guys. I had no
idea, right? But I had so many fears
that paralyzed me and stopped me from
moving forward. But I realized
that I could do it, and it lit
a fire in me. And I was now on the journey
and the road to change, because it was
ignited right here at Grand Rapids
Community College. I was inspired. That, my fellow graduates,
was a time for me. I was thirsty,
I was hungry, I wanted to
know more. I wanted to spend my time here
to become a lifelong learner at Grand Rapids
Community College. I learned how to adapt,
how to push. How to find courage,
conviction, dedication, and so much more that you
need to be successful. I found that
right here. It also deepened my
understanding, though, for the call of others,
to help others. I learned
that here. I found a family
of supporters. I had to go to the Tutoring Lab,
all the time, you guys. I didn’t know
how to study. I had to
relearn. People helped
me here. Everyone came
to my aid. While working as a
full-time employee for Grand Rapids Public Schools,
a full-time mom, wife, what I thought was the
impossible became my reality. I actually graduated from
Grand Rapids JC, at the time, and it was literally the most
exciting day of my life. I never thought
I could do it… and I did. I stand before you today– what
we used to say is “JC” for me– I literally took
that to heart. I felt that
JC was mine. This college
belonged to me. And it
helped me. I was encouraged by
everyone here to continue. I want you to know you are
a member of an elite group. In Kent County, according
to the census in 2014, there are only 8.4% of the
members of our community with an
Associate’s degree. You guys, that’s pretty
impressive that you’re here. Don’t take that
for granted. You are part of
a great group. Just as my Associate’s degree
from community college allowed me to dream to
be all that I could be, to go on and open
doors for me… you will find. You will find that this degree
that you will receive tonight will open doors that
you never ever dreamed. But I want you to know,
getting this degree, this degree from Grand Rapids
Community College, it comes with great
responsibility. Timing is
everything in life. For you, leadership is
needed at this time. And it doesn’t matter whether
you take leadership roles in our city,
in our state, or across this nation–
you’ve been prepared for it. You need to find
your passion. Speak for people who cannot
speak for themselves. Help them until they
find their voice. That’s what you have
here with your degree. When it is your turn
to stand in the gap, don’t shy
away from it. Stand in the gap. Stand in the
gap and push. There are some people that
didn’t have this opportunity. And so, as you
celebrate tonight– and we have want
you to celebrate. This is a major
accomplishment. But as you
celebrate tonight, you think about all that you’ve
had to go through to get here. And for some, it’s been
harder than others. But I want you to
remember tomorrow… tomorrow… if you don’t have a plan,
take time to reflect. Think about
your next step. Whatever
that is. Put your degree
to action. Seek out an
opportunity. Don’t stand back
and watch life. Don’t stand on
the sidelines. That’s not what we do
when we graduate from our community
college. We get involved. When it’s your turn, you
need to step up and be ready. You have a moral
responsibility, just as I did to become
your superintendent, to step up, take the torch,
and do the next step. You will be called on to stand
up, and I want you to be ready. And answer that call
when they call you. But when you do,
you give 100%. You give 100%. And again, you have been
prepared for that moment. Lean in, take
the challenge, don’t shy
away from it. Don’t shy away
from it at all. Be the voice for those
that may not have a voice. I want to leave you with
a quote from Maya Angelou that I use quite a
bit for perseverance. And Maya Angelou said, “You
may encounter many defeats, “but you cannot
be defeated. “In fact, it may be necessary
to encounter the defeats, “just so you know
who you are, “what you can
rise from, “and how you can still
come out of it.” I want you to let your
presence be known. Your educational
experience here at Grand Rapids
Community College has prepared you with
the tools necessary to accomplish anything
you want to do. Anything! Anything you want to do,
you have it within you. So for that,
graduates, I say to you,
congratulations and it has been an honor to
be here before you today. Thank you. (applause, cheering) (applause)>>I’ll ask you
one more time, please give one
more applause for not only for our
Distinguished Alumna… (applause, cheering)
but for our keynote
speaker this evening. (applause, cheering) Superintendent Neal, thank you
for your words of encouragement to our graduates,
and welcome home. So now, we’re at this
point in our ceremony that I think some of you
have been anticipating. (scattered laughing)
This awarding of diplomas. Students before you,
ladies and gentlemen, will join tens of thousands
of other graduates who are proud GRCC
and GRJC alumni. On behalf of everyone on this
stage and in the audience, I want to wish you the best
as you take your next steps, whether that’s on to a career
or continuing your studies. We are proud to call
you “GRCC alumni.” Now it’s time
for you to shine as you take this step and this
long walk across this stage. As we confer these
certificates and degrees, I will be assisted by
chairperson Dave Koetje, and other members of
the Board of Trustees. Presenting the candidates
for confirmation are Provost Laurie Chesley,
Dean Amy Mansfield, and Dean Mike Vargo. But before
I go on, I want you to help me
recognize someone tonight. I just mentioned to you
our Provost, Laurie Chesley, that will be helping
confer degrees tonight. But this is our Provost’s last
commencement here at GRCC, for she has become and
named the president of Central Oregon Community
College in Bend, Oregon. I want you right now
to help me congratulate and let Dr. Chesley know
just how much this community is going to
miss her. (applause, cheering) (applause) Thank you. So before we begin
this section, I’d like to call your
attention to students who are wearing
special cords tonight, and ribbons and
medallions, and let me explain
some of those to you. Students wearing gold ribbons
with gold medallions are members of
Delta Pi Alpha, who graduate this evening in
the top 5% of their class. Students wearing a blue
ribbon with a medallion are members of Phi Theta Kappa
International Honor Society, and have earned a grade point
average of 3.3 or better. Students wearing
blue and gold cords are members of our
Honors program. And students wearing red,
white, and blue cords are being honored for their
service to our country. (applause, cheering) (applause) You will also notice
some students wearing blue
and white cords. They are members of our
middle college programs. We have graduates from
Wyoming High School, Cedar Springs
High School, and Holland Careerline
Tech Center. The Middle College program is
a partnership between GRCC and several
public schools, allowing participating students
to earn a high school diplomas and an Associate of Arts
degree in four years. These students completed a
13th year of high school while also being enrolled
in GRCC courses. And the tuition costs for
these students is zero. (applause, cheering) (applause) Please take a moment,
if you would, if all those
students wearing all the special cords
and medallions I just mentioned, please stand and be recognized
by our audience at this time. (applause, cheering) (applause) You may be
seated. Now, please welcome
Provost Laurie Chesley, who will begin the conferring
of certificates and degrees for this evening.>>Will the Marshal now
present the candidates who will be graduated with
an Associate of Arts, Associate of Fine Arts,
Associate of Music, Associate of Science, and
Associate of General Studies. Dr. Michael Vargo, Dean of the
School of Arts and Sciences, will present these
candidates this evening.>>Svetlana G. Yugay. (applause, cheering) Catherine J. Crofoot. (applause, cheering) Alan H. Perez. (applause, cheering) Landen Armon Flippin. (applause, cheering) Jesus Alberto Reyes. (applause, cheering) Jawid Nawazish. (applause) Omar Velasquez. (applause, cheering) Brianna Joy Cantlon. (applause, cheering) Hayro Morillo. (applause, cheering) (audience laughing) Pascal Kawaya. (applause, cheering) Cecilia Medina. (applause, cheering) Amber S. Belmont. (applause) Timothy G. Proctor. (applause, cheering) Steven James Baker. (applause, cheering) Kelli Marie Vanderley. (applause, cheering) Kendra Ann Kulier. (applause) Dylan Tanis. (applause, cheering) Josue Kisile. (applause, cheering) Jaqueline Araiza. (applause, cheering)
>>You go, Jaqueline!>>William John Luna. (applause, cheering) Emma Doreen Gabites. (applause, cheering) Kyanna A. Hunter. (applause, cheering) Cecelia Brandt. (applause) Ryleigh N. Detloff. (applause) Ariana M. Markus. (applause, cheering) Emily L. Parks. (applause) Mikelle Murray. (applause, cheering) Jonathon Steven Thompson. (applause, cheering) Shane Camry Wilson. (applause, cheering) Andrew Vyumvuhore. (applause) Madelin R. Pierce. (applause, cheering) Jena Julian. (applause, cheering) Emily Mae Wasinski. (applause, cheering) Autumn E. Gentner. (applause) Mackenzie J. Kooiker. (applause, cheering) Miabela Villa. (applause, cheering) Chyna T. Johnson. (applause, cheering) Mary Nicole Minnema. (applause) Lillian M. Stolieckas. (applause, cheering) Tyler D. Reno. (applause, cheering) Onalee Amber Sneller. (applause, cheering) Erin M. Murphy. (applause, cheering) Raul Leon. (applause, cheering) Jontae N. Yost. (applause, cheering) Emma R. Earegood. (applause) Jennifer Michelle Pyka. (applause, cheering) Catherine Elizabeth Dietrich. (applause, cheering) Domonique Leola Robinson. (applause, cheering) Margarita Ramirez Rios. (applause) Jaci Lee-Ann Burns. (applause, cheering) Emily Elyse Tennant. (applause, cheering) Scott–
Michael Scott Banaszak. (applause, cheering) Nathan A. Evans. (applause, cheering) Allyson Kate Macpherson. (applause) Adriana Janeth Vazquez. (applause, cheering) Jovan G. Contreras. (applause, cheering) Paul William Vander Male. (applause, cheering) Madison Marie Sullivan. (applause, cheering) Thaleea Kareina Amaya. (applause, cheering) Magaly A. Tovar. (applause, cheering) Claudia Gonzalez Castaneda. (applause, cheering) Audra M. Schildhouse. (applause, cheering) Peter Shema. (applause, cheering) Kennia J. Cifuentes. (applause, cheering) Amina A. Elamin. (applause, cheering) Hai L. Tran. (applause) Nhung Pham. (applause, cheering) Nicole Lynn Vandervennen. (applause, cheering) Jacob James Fris. (applause, cheering) Shawna Mullennix. (applause, cheering) Jeremy David Wilder. (applause) Amber Rae Wychers. (applause) Tikvah Dawn Finn. (applause, cheering) Stella Evangelia Spero. (applause, cheering) Breanna Sue Gray. (applause, cheering) Holly Marie Finn. (applause) Andrew Pham. (applause, cheering) Logan Matthew Norton. (applause, cheering) Philip Lam. (applause, cheering) Efrain Cano. (applause, cheering) Lydya Ayad-Hanna Shamoona. (applause, cheering) Stephanie Ramirez. (applause, cheering) Jessica Hernandez-Ortiz. (applause, cheering) Casey Thomas Munguia. (applause, cheering) Thomas Edward Hubert. (applause) Rachel Elizabeth Tisdale. (applause, cheering) Carina Nieves-Hernandez. (applause, cheering) Tina M. Morgan. (applause, cheering) Grace Marie Paiz. (applause, cheering) Nathanael Steven Eugene Shell. (applause, cheering) Kain Michael Hazelton. (applause, cheering) Lindsay R. Mersman. (applause, cheering) Katelyn Marie Barnes. (applause) Shanique A. Blyden. (applause, cheering) Camryn R. Giem. (applause, cheering) Sheila Michelle Harris. (applause, cheering) Kelsey Lynne Hall. (applause, cheering) Eric Wesolowski. (applause, cheering) Lorena Rivera Tinoco. (applause) Ana S. Villagomez Vega. (applause) Yolanda Ramirez-Salto. (applause, cheering) Brittany Ann Wilterink. (applause) Aysha Peterson. (applause, cheering) Justess Mischley. (applause) Jacob Edward Buitendyk. (applause) Morgan Jean Brown. (applause, cheering) Jamey Thomas Limbers. (applause, cheering) Tessa Elizabeth Osborne. (applause, cheering) Christine J. Williams. (applause) Chandler Evan Michalsky. (applause, cheering) Benjamin Traverse Kolk. (applause, cheering) Ryan Razo. (applause, cheering) Joanna Ruth Banks. (applause, cheering) Christian Michael Maring. (applause, cheering) Dallas Van Ngo. (applause, cheering) Elizabeth J. Aronica. (applause, cheering) Alexander Scott Whitman. (applause, cheering) Kathryn Elizabeth Hibschman. (applause, cheering) Asadullah Ali. (applause, cheering) Megan S. Shaw. (applause, cheering) Kaitlyn E. Bernatowicz. (applause, cheering) Caitlyn R. Bulthuis. (applause, cheering) Anastasia Nicole Barnes. (applause, cheering) Rachel E. Heywood. (applause, cheering) Lauren G. Kramer. (applause, cheering) Olivia S. Schroeder. (applause, cheering) Steven C. Martinski. (applause, cheering) Hilary VanKrimpen. (applause, cheering) Amanda Michele Holloway. (applause, cheering) Gino Gonzalez. (applause, cheering) Daniela Oviedo. (applause, cheering) Juana Maria Vasquez. (applause, cheering) Kayla Lynn Baker. (applause, cheering) Morgan Potter. (applause, cheering) Christopher Scott Moore. (applause, cheering) Grace Diane Denison. (applause, cheering) Luke Patrick Fortier. (applause) Jennifer Izaguirre. (applause, cheering) Jessica Ann Pitcher. (applause) Kimberly Jo Patulski. (applause, cheering) Jaihla Nicole Williams. (applause, cheering) Oanh Le. (applause, cheering) Emily Ramos. (applause) Sara Shen Lisha Dokter. (applause, cheering) Melina Jasmin Castro. (applause, cheering) Montserrat Guzman. (applause, cheering) Jessica Quist. (applause, cheering) Hannah Grace
Malamisura-Boothe. (applause, cheering) Katelyn Taylor Bulgarella. (applause, cheering) Brittany Ruth Laansma. (applause, cheering) Tin N. Nguyen. (applause) KayLee Westerhuis. (applause, cheering) Ashley M. Farrance. (applause) Aja N. Kilgore. (applause, cheering) Erika Urivez. (applause, cheering) Thomas J. Fredricks. (applause) Calvon Owens. (applause, cheering) Sammie Ryans. (applause, cheering) Fabrice Kouakou. (applause, cheering) Amber S. Nathan. (applause, cheering) Sophia Studebaker. (applause, cheering) Emily J. Smith. (applause) Mallory Fay Paiz. (applause, cheering) Darouny Evelyn Southavilai. (applause, cheering) Kareem Cruz. (applause, cheering) Muamer Bektas. (applause, cheering) Nancy Aguilar. (applause, cheering) Elijah Emmanuel Lewis. (applause, cheering) Kayanna E. Williams. (applause, cheering) Lariesha L. Lee. (applause, cheering) Makenna R. Willea. (applause, cheering) Evan Thomas Lindhout. (applause, cheering) Rosanne J. Bloem. (applause, cheering) Dandu Subor Loloro. (applause, cheering) Tyneicshe Browley. (applause, cheering) Jered Michael Zank. (applause, cheering) Christopher Louis Klein. (applause, cheering) Kirsten Storemski. (applause) Julye M. Alvarado. (applause, cheering) Jessie Webb. (applause, cheering) Allison E. Ream. (applause, cheering) Omal Yamal Cockburn. (applause) Trinity Lambeth. (applause, cheering) Logan James Oostdyk. (applause, cheering) Chau Pham. (applause, cheering) Bethany Ann Batchelor. (applause, cheering) Trevor J. Hodges. (applause, cheering) Nathan A. VerStrat. (applause, cheering) Kaitlyn Zittel. (applause, cheering) Catherine Elizabeth Wissman. (applause, cheering) Andrew James-Eugene Kent. (applause, cheering) Taylor Juneanne Mallay. (applause, cheering) Allison Mae Bliss. (applause, cheering) Zach Schondelmayer. (applause, cheering) Steffany Gelabert-Garcia. (applause, cheering) Paul Warren Kempter. (applause, cheering) Cole Solomon Evans. (applause, cheering) Laura Uwamahoro. (applause) Lucelina Guerrero. (applause, cheering) Cheyenne Lilian Bell. (applause, cheering) Skye Devanna Thomas. (applause, cheering) Andrew James Freel. (applause, cheering) James Christopher Martin. (applause, cheering) Abraham Malou Mach. (applause, cheering) Isaiah Nathaniel Gooden. (applause, cheering) Andrea M. Hall. (applause, cheering) Soreymy Collazo-Cartagena. (applause, cheering) Long Do. (applause) Sarafina Kisile. (applause, cheering) Are you set?
Thank you, sir. (general chatter)>>Will the Marshal now
present the candidates who will be
graduated with an Associate of
Applied Arts and Science, Associate
of Business, Associate of Nursing,
and certificates. Dr. Amy Mansfield, Dean for the School of
Workforce Development, will present these
candidates this evening.>>Grant J. Davis. (applause, cheering) Alexander V. Yugay. (applause, cheering) Poe Reh. (applause, cheering) Ray F. Nielsen. (applause, cheering) Chelsea Rose Beckmann. (applause, cheering) Hilary A. Miller. (applause, cheering) Brad M. Verberg. (applause, cheering) Laura Jane Catherine Kersten. (applause, cheering) Molly Moored Broekhuis. (applause, cheering) Rachel Eileen Evans. (applause, cheering) Mackenzie Lea Marckini. (applause, cheering) Cole Meredith. (applause, cheering) Landon T. Timmer. (applause, cheering) Cody W. Langlois. (applause, cheering) Brendan J. Harwood. (applause, cheering) Jennifer R. Burgess. (applause, cheering) Amy J. Blood. (applause, cheering) Ethan N. Moore. (applause, cheering) Ephraim Broni. (applause, cheering) Daniel Jonathan Cruzan. (applause) Natalie Selena Alvarado. (applause, cheering) Lisa G. Cooley. (applause, cheering) Angela Inez Middleton. (applause, cheering) William Allen Dewitt. (applause, cheering) Brandon Charles May. (applause, cheering) Brandon Winter. (applause, cheering) Lindsay Erin Delong. (applause, cheering) Kurt William Kuempel. (applause, cheering) Brandon Michael Docter. (applause, cheering) Caleb John Rookus. (applause) Essence Renee Walker. (applause, cheering) Joseph Hamilton. (applause, cheering) Erika Mejia. (applause, cheering) Kyle E. Powers. (applause) Alexander Powers. (applause) Tasha Renee Sanders. (applause, cheering) Miriah Shaynell Edwards. (applause, cheering) Josh D. Snoeyink. (applause, cheering) Cara Flage. (applause, cheering) Kelsey Lynne Berry. (applause, cheering) Jordan Douglas Sandee. (applause, cheering) Josephine Jashenna
Renee McClendon. (applause, cheering) Jasiel Arreguin. (applause, cheering) Jessica Lynn Huizinga. (applause, cheering) Lauren M. Hageman. (applause, cheering) Elizabeth Rose Dorman. (applause, cheering) Mackenzie Lynn Pfundt. (applause, cheering) Marcia K. Funk. (applause, cheering) Katherine Joy Westenbroek. (applause, cheering) Kristin Joy Vandenhoek. (applause, cheering) Samantha Jean Dziesinski. (applause, cheering) Rebecca A. Haak. (applause, cheering) Ashleigh S. Waterworth. (applause, cheering) Molly Ann Ludwig. (applause, cheering) Erin Frances Carter. (applause, cheering) Mary Therese Forrester. (applause, cheering) McKenzie Paige Parker. (applause, cheering) Emily Renee Schepel. (applause, cheering) Nichole R. Shepard. (applause, cheering) Allyson E. Rodewald. (applause, cheering) Caitlin Marie Loeding. (applause, cheering) Meaghan A. Paulin. (applause, cheering) Jonisha K. Hill. (applause, cheering) Lataveonia L. Brown. (applause, cheering) Luwi Musonda Muyeba Musonda. (applause, cheering) Elizabeth Carter. (applause, cheering) Hemanta Acharya. (applause, cheering) Areona Hunter. (applause, cheering) Chad James Meister. (applause, cheering) John McCarthy. (applause) Shannon B. Sullivan. (applause, cheering) Lucas Enrique Rios. (applause, cheering) Kimesha Sasha-Gay Clarke. (applause, cheering) Sarah Ann Wilber. (applause, cheering) Desiree Marie Carranco. (applause, cheering) Tonia Gay Lee. (applause, cheering) Jasmine Marie Lyles. (applause, cheering) (audience laughing) River Alonzo Montoya. (applause, cheering) Morgan Nicole Vickery. (applause, cheering) Lindsey M. Anderson. (applause) James Arnez Lang. (applause, cheering) Teresa Kay Sargent. (applause, cheering) Jonathan Alan Berry. (applause, cheering) JD Marsiglia. (applause, cheering) Douglas Jeffrey Hall. (applause, cheering) Carl E. Polk. (applause, cheering) Julien Muhirwa. (applause) Daniel Callahan. (applause) Chris Lee Schmitt. (applause, cheering) Michelle Leigh Bates. (applause, cheering) Misty Michelle Forsten. (applause, cheering) Kevin Nguyen. (applause, cheering) Caron Lee McDonald. (applause, cheering) Jennifer L. Penkszik. (applause, cheering) Parzinder Ghavri. (applause, cheering) Lal H. Tluang. (applause) Thang Sian Suan Khai. (applause) Brianna Marie Lampe. (applause, cheering) Ryan Patrick Mergener. (applause, cheering) Timothy William Johnson. (applause, cheering) Nicholas John Scott. (applause, cheering) Megan Elizabeth Groenhout. (applause) Zachary Ryan Scott Graves. (applause, cheering) Scarlett Rae Polk. (applause, cheering) Brian Scott Hayward. (applause, cheering) Yuliana Mora Calderon. (applause, cheering) Adan M. Hassan. (applause, cheering) Olivia L. Pierce. (applause, cheering) Rachael Lynn Goudey. (applause, cheering) Jade A. VanderJagt. (applause, cheering) Ashley Marie Mol. (applause, cheering) Renae Danielle Baron. (applause) Alicia Marie Veliz-Figueroa. (applause, cheering) Tiarra Nicole Sydnor. (applause, cheering) Heather Ann Aylsworth-Troyer. (applause, cheering) Nichole Kathleen Holbrook. (applause, cheering) Megan L. Bishop. (applause, cheering) Kaylynn Marie Medley. (applause, cheering) Jenna Lavae Whipkey. (applause, cheering) Alyssa Leigh Gerloski. (applause, cheering) Bradley C. Camling. (applause, cheering) Elma Husic. (applause, cheering) Kimberly Renae Gebuys. (applause, cheering) Carley Lynn Hume. (applause, cheering) Chloe Dawn Graham. (applause, cheering) Kalika Darion Wernette. (applause, cheering) Krystle I. Thorpe. (applause, cheering) Irma Brakic. (applause, cheering) Kayla Marie Walker. (applause, cheering) Mary B. Maloy. (applause, cheering) Ronald W.H. Cole. (applause, cheering) John Michael Paul. (applause, cheering)
(air horn blasting) (audience laughing) O’Hara B. Boltinghouse. (applause, cheering) Dariyana A. Tillman. (applause, cheering) Jada Lee. (applause, cheering) Katie A. Sparks. (applause, cheering) Danielle Berry. (applause) Amanda Nicole Roy. (applause, cheering) Amber Marie Visser. (applause, cheering) Zariah Terry. (applause, cheering) Danelle Joseph– excuse me,
Daniel Joseph Dietrich. (applause, cheering)
(air horn blasting) Luz Patricia Gonzalez. (applause, cheering) Aaron M. Casey. (applause, cheering) Thomas Marshal Galbreath. (applause, cheering) Mark Vasquez Montero. (applause) Abraham Isaac Calderon. (applause, cheering) Dustin Leon Moody. (applause, cheering) Sergei Pavlov Haley. (applause, cheering) Judiel Corona.>>Judiel.
>>Judi-el…>>Judiel.
>>Judiel Corona.>>There we go. (applause, cheering) Jose Aguilar-Martinez. (applause, cheering) Eduardo Gomez. (applause, cheering) Patricia B. Walker. (applause, cheering) Kaylyn Nicole McAlister. (applause, cheering) Rachel Castle. (applause, cheering) Michelle DenBesten. (applause, cheering) Allie Louise Bearss. (applause, cheering) Brooke Marie Klamer. (applause, cheering) Sydney Mae Haisma. (applause, cheering) Jodi Lee Domanski. (applause, cheering) Viviean Ruth Marie Baker. (applause, cheering) Chelsey Nicole Coronado. (applause, cheering) Danae M. Montoro. (applause, cheering) Asha Janice Nemec. (applause) Marie Isabel Ramirez. (applause, cheering) Kimberly Kay Rudowske. (applause, cheering) Kayla Nikole Gibson. (applause, cheering) June Adora Rayburn. (applause, cheering) Stephanie Kaye Cronk. (applause, cheering) Kendra Tatiana Veldheer. (applause, cheering) Cerena Rose Millis. (applause) Cin Sawm Piang. (applause, cheering) Aaron J. Vail. (applause, cheering) Solomon Luke. (applause, cheering) Stanislas Baba Mbengue. (applause, cheering) Zachary Scott Johnson. (applause, cheering) Claudia Rodriguez. (applause, cheering) Katie Lynn Lefevre. (applause, cheering) Nicole M. Latham. (applause, cheering) Carrissa M. Stalsonburg. (applause, cheering) Lyndsey A. Kelly. (applause, cheering) Sheila Keomallei Ruwe. (applause, cheering) Nicole Myers. (applause, cheering) Alivia P. VerBerkmoes. (applause, cheering) Theresa Marie Hikade. (applause, cheering) Amy J. McNabb. (applause, cheering) Jenni Anne Hayes. (applause, cheering) Alex Michael Phelps. (applause, cheering) Karen Felix. (applause, cheering) Melissa Lorraine Massey. (applause, cheering) April Elizabeth Brooks. (applause, cheering) Hanna Sue Smalley. (applause, cheering) Scott David Smith. (applause, cheering) Steven Christopher Turley. (applause, cheering) Caleb Scott Lieffers. (applause, cheering) Eric J. Wyma. (applause) Ryan Michael McGovern. (applause, cheering) Renee Lynn Hankins. (applause, cheering) Dominic Lee San Miguel. (applause, cheering) Gabriel Garcia Roldan. (applause, cheering) Paul Cole. (applause, cheering) Beth Kay Johnson. (applause, cheering) Ashley Marie Schaffer. (applause, cheering) Jenna Christine Bristol. (applause, cheering) Jenna M. Potter. (applause, cheering) Melissa Morris. (applause, cheering) Daniel Curiel-Vasquez. (applause, cheering) Shena Rene Pierce. (applause, cheering) Miyesha M. McSwain. (applause, cheering) Requita D. White. (applause, cheering) Collin C. Gillikin. (applause, cheering) Sara Jo Yonkers. (applause, cheering) Elizabeth N. Babcock. (applause, cheering) Deanna Jovan Renee Owens. (applause, cheering) Ashley Alcantar-Guzman. (applause, cheering) Thian Hrin Thang. (applause, cheering) Quy Nguyen. (applause, cheering) John David Leonard. (applause, cheering) Grace Anne Lemmon. (applause, cheering) Christina M. West. (applause, cheering) Wuese Christabel Terwase. (applause, cheering) Zulema Zugey Vega-Cortez. (applause, cheering) Melissa Violeidy Valdez. (applause, cheering) Alijah D. Vaughn. (applause, cheering) Bryan David Hutton. (applause, cheering) Thomas John Smarch. (applause, cheering) Johnny Le. (applause, cheering) Tyler Dine. (applause, cheering) Hannah Faye Francisco. (applause, cheering) Chelsea Anne Sorrels. (applause, cheering) Isabelle Jensen. (applause, cheering) Rubi Blanco. (applause, cheering) Marilyn Marty Ortega. (applause, cheering) Krishna Nepal. (applause, cheering) Gabriel Urbina Caballero. (applause, cheering) Michael Bos. (applause, cheering) Myrra Annette Johnson. (applause, cheering) Krystar Marie Favors. (applause, cheering) Anna Theresa Bareman. (applause, cheering) Marcus Kendell Williams. (applause, cheering) (scattered cheering) (general chatter)>>Will the candidates for
graduation please stand. (applause, cheering) (scattered cheering) President Pink, upon
the recommendation of the faculty of Grand Rapids
Community College, I’m honored and privileged
to present the candidate for Associate of Arts, Associate
of Applied Arts and Sciences, Associate of Business,
Associate of Fine Arts, Associate of General Studies,
Associate of Music, Associate of Nursing,
Associate of Science, and certificate
programs.>>By virtue of the
authority vested in me as President of Grand Rapids
Community College, the Board of Trustees, the
laws of the State of Michigan, I now confer upon each
of you the certificate, degree, and title as they
apply to you individually, and cite you as being
worthy of all the rights, privileges, and
responsibilities that come with this
accomplishment. Graduates, you may now shift
your tassel from right to left. (applause, cheering) All right, ladies
and gentlemen, I know that I just asked them
to shift that tassel over, but I got to say
this one more time. Let me present
to you the 2019 graduating class of
Grand Rapids Community College! (applause, cheering) Graduates, if you
would remain standing. And everyone, please,
as we stand here for our Alma Mater for
Grand Rapids Community College, performed by the
GRCC Concert Choir, accompanied by the
GRCC Wind Ensemble. (orchestral music)>>(choir singing)
♪ Above a city on a hill ♪ ♪ A river
winding through ♪ ♪ A college stands
with open doors ♪ ♪ Its colors
gold and blue ♪ ♪ Alma Mater
of open arms ♪ ♪ To all who
wish to be ♪ ♪ Searchers for
that distant light ♪ ♪ The truth that
sets us free ♪ (orchestral music) ♪ A bridge across
the rising flood ♪ ♪ A path to
firmer shore ♪ ♪ A journey to
a mountaintop ♪ ♪ A new world
to explore ♪ (orchestral music) ♪ A beacon in the
dark of night ♪ ♪ To travelers
on the sea ♪ ♪ A vineyard for the
hands and hearts ♪ ♪ To nurture
lovingly ♪ ♪ Alma Mater
of open arms ♪ ♪ To all who
wish to be ♪ ♪ Searchers for
the distant light ♪ ♪ The truth that
sets us free ♪ ♪ Alma Mater
of open arms ♪ ♪ To all who
wish to be ♪ ♪ Searchers for
the distant light ♪ ♪ The truth that
sets us free ♪ ♪ The truth ♪ ♪ That sets us ♪ ♪ Free ♪ (applause, cheering)>>Please be seated. (general chatter) As we get ready to conclude
our ceremony this evening, graduates, I need
to say to you… here, there are a lot
of things that are said about the value of
a college degree. There are a lot of people
that talk about and wonder– and talk about,
“What’s the value? “What does
that mean?” And there are people in this
world that will tell you and question you
and ask you about what that
means for you, and even some of them that will
try to tell you what that means. I want to tell you tonight,
you are a GRCC graduate. No one writes that
narrative for you. You write that
narrative. You are the one who decides
what that future is for you. You have
education. You have something
in your hand. It’s a
diploma cover. That may get left
on the seat. That may have something–
you may not have any idea where that thing is
five years from now. It doesn’t matter
about the cover. What matters is
the education that you’ve had
here at this place. You’ve been
educated. You’ve been
prepared. You get to write
that narrative. No one else. You tell people, as
you exit this place, and you tell them, just as you heard Superintendent
Weatherall Neal say tonight, from here on forward, you tell
people, “I’m a GRCC graduate. “I graduated from Grand Rapids
Community College.” That’s a point of pride for
many people in this community. It is now a point
of pride for you. You’ve been prepared and
educated by the people sitting around
you right now. And they work hard
at what they do. You carry that on because
you are one of ours. You are one of the
GRCC family now. And if anyone ever
says anything about it, anyone ever questions
the value of your community
college degree, you tell them
the value of it, you tell them what
this place did for you, and if they still have a problem
with it, send ’em to me! (audience laughing) (applause, cheering) Because you’re
one of ours now. You are one
of ours. And you make sure that everyone
understands and knows that. You tell
this world that you are a Grand Rapids
Community College graduate. Sermon over,
I’m sorry. (audience laughing) No, I’m not.
>>Whoo!>>I’m not sorry. Going back
to script. To conclude…
(audience laughing) our 102nd
commencement, our faculty will
honor our graduates in a recessional
line-up as you exit– as they exit to the
Olivarez Plaza. We ask everyone, if
you will remain seated while viewing the
recessional on the screens that
are behind me. After all students have
exited the building, we invite you to join your
graduate and our faculty out on the Plaza, once they
have all exited the arena. Graduates, congratulations
on this important milestone. We are proud to call
you “GRCC alumni.” Have an awesome
evening. (applause, cheering) (applause) (general chatter) (Gustav Holst’s “March,”
from “Suite no. 2 in F”) (delicate, lively
orchestral music) (music swelling) (joyful, ceremonious
orchestral music) (delicate, lively
orchestral music) (joyful, ceremonious
orchestral music) (delicate, lively
orchestral music) (music swelling) (joyful, ceremonious
orchestral music) (delicate, lively
orchestral music) (joyful, ceremonious
orchestral music) (delicate, lively
orchestral music)