GRCC Graduation Commencement 2015

GRCC Graduation Commencement 2015


>>Hello and welcome
to the 2015 Commencement at Van Andel Arena! We’re here not only
celebrating our students, but celebrating
100 years of GRCC. And I’ve got
a student here who would like to say
hi to her family. What’s your name?
>>Sundy.>>And do you have
family in there?>>Yup, I have my
daughter, Brandy, and my boyfriend,
Danny.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>With a Business
Administration degree.>>What do plan on
doing with that degree?>>I just– putting
it on my wall. (laughing)
I worked hard for it. So, yeah.
>>Do you want to
wave to everybody?>>Hi.
(laughing)>>Thank you very much. Okay, we’re gonna go over here a
second, and who do we have here?>>Joyce Collins.>>Okay, and who
do we have here?>>What’s your name?
>>Santiago.>>Are you graduating
tonight?>>Yes.>>Are you getting a degree?
>>Yeah.>>It’s pretty big in there–
you gonna help your mom?>>Yeah, Mom… I’m…>>Can we talk to
her for a second?>>Yes.
>>Okay, thanks.>>So, what are you
graduating with tonight?>>With a certificate in
Baking and Pastry Arts.>>And do you have a job
lined up for that?>>Yeah, I’m already a baker
at Uncommon Coffee Roasters in Saugatuck, so…
>>Ooo, I love that place!>>Yeah, it’s really good.
(chuckling)>>Now, you gonna have
a party after this?>>Um… hopefully.
(laughing) We’ll see what
my family plans. I mean, are you baking
something for them?>>No, but I’m
always baking. So, my sisters say it’s the
gift that keeps on giving.>>Okay, good deal–
oop, what did you say?>>I have my parents. I have my
parents.>>Okay.
>>Them, um… I have toys. And I have
a cat. And…>>You’re like our
youngest graduate.>>You have animals
for cats. And dogs.>>Okay, well,
thanks, man. You’re a good guy. Okay, we’re going to
go down here a second. Okay, we have this
gentleman right here. What’s your name, sir?
>>Mike Batey.>>What are you
graduating with tonight?>>Associate’s in
Business Management.>>Okay, what’s this
lanyard you have.>>This is a veteran’s cord.
>>Okay, excellent. And what are you planning
on doing with your degree?>>Advancing into
upper management.>>Ooo, that
sounds ambitious! Been in management
for 20 years, so I need this piece
of paper to go.>>Okay, do you have
family in there?>>Yes, I do.
>>You wanna say hi to them?>>Yes– hey, Gordon,
Shelly, Austin, Drew– what’s happening? I guess it’s time.>>Hopefully they’re
sitting down already.>>I hope so.
>>We’ll come back
to you if not, okay?>>All right, thanks.
>>All right. And who do we have here?
>>Patrick Dooling.>>Okay, this gentleman did
not want to be interviewed, but we’re doing
it anyways, so… what are you graduating
with tonight?>>Associate’s in
Business and Accounting.>>What do you want to
do with that degree?>>Um… weighing my
options right now. I’m not for sure.
>>Okay.>>Definitely using it.
>>Okay, just kinda
hanging loose with it?>>Yeah!
>>It’s a good thing to have.>>Oh, yeah–
absolutely.>>Do you have
family in there?>>Uh, they’ll be showing
up tonight, yeah.>>You mean they’re
not in there yet?>>(laughing).
>>You sure?>>Oh, they might
be in there.>>Do you want to wave
to them just in case?>>Sure.>>Hello, whoever you are.>>My wife, Linda,
and my parents.>>Hopefully you’re
sitting down already. Okay, thank you
very much. Okay, and here we have–
>>Heaven.>>Now, do you know
that inside there, there’s going to be a
Griffins game tomorrow?>>No.
>>Hockey– you know
hockey, right?>>I know hockey, yeah.
>>Okay, ’cause they actually– because of the hockey game, they
still have the ice on the floor, ’cause they didn’t– so
you got to walk on that.>>Okay, I
can do that!>>Okay, just be
really careful, okay?>>Yeah, I can do that.
>>All right.>>Got grace, got grace.>>What are you
graduating with tonight?>>My Business Associate’s–
Business Administration.>>Okay, what are
you doing with that?>>Right now, I work
in a vape shop. If you know what
those are at all?>>Yeah.
>>Like, E-cigs. I work at that–
shipping. Helping the owners
run the whole place.>>Okay, so this will
really help you!>>Yeah, yeah. They’re all excited for
me, so that’s nice.>>Do you have
family in there?>>They’re over at
Gardella’s right now.>>They’re at Gardella’s?!
>>Yeah, J. Gardella’s.>>We don’t go that far. We’re only inside there.
>>I know! I honestly don’t know.
>>Do you want to
wave hi to them, just in case they’re in there?
>>Yeah– hi, Mom and Dad.>>Thank you very much. Okay, this woman looks a little
nervous to be interviewed.>>Me– no, not at all.
>>What’s your name?>>Trisha Heintzelman.
>>You sure about that?>>Yes– positive.>>What are you
graduating with tonight?>>My Associate’s in
Applied Arts and Sciences, Juvenile Services.>>What are you gonna
do with that degree?>>Well, I am currently
dual-enrolled at Ferris State to be a probation officer.
>>Very ambitious. We need those.
>>Mmm-hmm, sure do.>>Do you have family in there?
>>I do. My parents, my son. They’re all in there, waiting
for me to walk across.>>You can wave
to them, you know.>>Hi, guys– love you!>>You’re a giant, ’cause you’re
like 20 feet tall in there.>>Oh, jeez. Well, my dad’s 6’5″, so…
I’ll be short to them.>>Oh, you know,
you’re huge in there.>>Oh. Well, I like to
be huge, so… I’ll stand out in front
of everybody more.>>Exactly. All right, well,
thank you very much. So, you looking forward to
seeing Shania Twain tonight?>>Oh, it’s gonna
be amazing!>>She’s really great–
this is her last tour, you know?>>Oh, yeah. Big fan.
>>Really? Oh, me, too. We should go
together.>>Oh, yeah, sit
next to each other. It’ll be great.
>>That would be fantastic. But I better know
your name first.>>Michael Jones.>>Mike, what are you
graduating with tonight?>>An Associate’s in Applied
Sciences– Computer Networking.>>Wow, that’s heady–
what are you gonna do with it?>>Um, I’m actually gonna try
to get into the IT department where I work.>>Oh, you’re gonna try to
be at GRCC IT department?>>Well, I work at
Gentex in Zeeland.>>Oh, and that’s
better somehow?>>Yeah, a little bit.>>Oh, okay, I’m going to
forget you said that entirely.>>I know, words hurt.>>Do you have
family in there?>>Yeah, they should be
arriving any time soon.>>Well, they might be
sitting down already. You wanna to say
hi to them?>>Hi, everybody!
>>That’s it? You got one person? Well, “everybody”
includes everyone. I mean, you got names
for these other people?>>Mom, Dad. Jerry, Tracy. Everyone in there.>>Bobby, Cindy,
Marsha, all of you.>>Jan.
>>Jan, Alice, the maid, all of them. Thank you very much.
>>Yeah, thank you.>>Okay, we’re going to go
back to you guys in the arena and we’ll see
you in 5. (light guitar music) Welcome back, and we have
another anxious student here who is still getting ready,
but wants to be interviewed. What’s your name, sir?
>>My name is Jerry. Jerry Jones–
Jerry Arlen Jones.>>And what do you do when
you are not going to college?>>Well, I was a musician
for a lot of years. I actually
love music. When I came back to school,
I kept it going.>>So, that’s what you’re
graduating with tonight?
>>No! I actually have an
Associate’s in Journalism and I’m going to be transferring
to the University of Michigan to study history.>>Well, you’re just a
man-of-all-trades, aren’t you?>>Oh, no, no– I just
have many interests. Many interests.
>>Well, thank you very much.>>Thank you, sir! I appreciate you
doing this today.>>Do you have family in there?
>>I do! I am going to have a bunch of my
friends, a bunch of my family. My father and my mother–
everybody’s coming. It’s a fun time–
it’s a good time, right?>>It is– would you like to
wave to them into the lens?>>I would. Hello, friends…
and family… I love you. Thank you, seriously,
for supporting me.>>Wow, you should
go into acting.>>No… no… no…!
>>You really should.>>I did do, like,
three of the GRCC plays.>>Oh, wow, that’s–
that’s amazing. It’s almost like
I recognized you.>>(laughing)
It’s almost like we have some sort of familiarity
with each other.>>It’s incredible!
>>Don’t be crazy!>>Thank you, sir. Okay, and now, we have
three lovely ladies here.>>Yes! Hi!
>>Hi!>>We made it! (singing)
♪ Another day’s journey ♪>>So, what’s your name?
>>Judy– my name’s Judy Kelley. Hi.
>>And what’s your name?>>Dionna.>>And what’s your name?
>>Tawanda Lee.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Associate’s in
Business Administration.>>You had to read
it off a card?>>No, I didn’t
have to read it! I was just holding it up
so you can see it.>>You were clearly
reading it. You didn’t know what
degree you were getting!>>(laughing)
Oh, I know what
degree I’m getting. Trust that thought.
>>Okay.>>(laughing)
I worked hard for it, too.>>Do you have
family in there?>>Yes, I do.
>>Would you like to say hi?>>Hi Mom,
hi sisters, hi daughter!
>>Fantastic. Okay, and what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Certified
Addiction Counseling.>>That sounds
really deep.>>Uh, yeah, it is. Good, though–
I really enjoyed it.>>It sounds great– do
you have family in there?>>I do–
my fiancee. Hey, honey.>>Oh, so you’re taken?>>I am going to be,
on May 23rd!>>Oh, okay–
you hear that? May 23rd is the day!
>>Yes!>>Anybody else in there?>>No, just him and a bunch
of friends and family. Yay, we did
it together!>>Fantastic! Thank you, guys!
>>Thank you.>>Okay, and what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Associates of Applied
Arts and Sciences, Juvenile Services.>>Now, you know there’s
a Motley Crue concert going on tonight?>>I don’t know nothing
about Motley Crue.>>Yeah, they’re actually
playing before the graduation.>>I don’t think so.
>>Wow, you’re good. You didn’t even
fall for it.>>Hey Mom,
hey Aunt Lee, hey family,
hey Quentin, my son! I love you!
>>Thank you very much.>>Okay, now, these two ladies
have never met each other so we’re actually
going to introduce them on the big screens. So, you are?
>>Mikayla Zeerip.>>And you are?
>>Guadalupe Gonzalez.>>Okay. Meet, you two. (both chuckling)
>>Nice to meet you.>>Nice to meet you!>>Okay, what are you
graduating with tonight?>>I’m graduating with an
Associate’s degree in Marketing.>>Would you believe that
there’s a Motley Crue concert going on tonight?
>>I would not.>>Wow, you’re
really smart. You must be graduating
from college.>>I am, yup!>>Do you have family
and friends in there?>>I do– I have
a large family.>>Okay, look right into that
lens and say hi to everybody.>>Hi!>>You can like–
individual names! You got names– they love to
hear their names in there.>>Mom, Dad, Ethan,
Jeremiah, Alex, Max, Cory, Grandma, Judy. There’s a lot of them.
>>And there’s more than that?>>No, that’s everyone.
>>Oh, okay. Boy, I thought you were going to
go on with an even bigger list.>>(laughing).
>>Thank you very much.>>You’re welcome.
>>Okay, how about you? You have family
in there?>>Yes, my husband, Rolando,
my mom, Sara, and my two daughters,
Soli and Sara.>>You wanna
wave to them?>>I love you!>>Wow, that was like a
10-foot-high kiss in there on two big
screens.>>Really?
>>Yeah, it’s huge in there!>>Awesome.
>>Wait till you walk in there. Be careful
of the ice. There’s a Griffins
game tomorrow night.>>(laughing)
Don’t say that, because all day I’ve been
thinking, “I’m gonna fall,” so hopefully, I won’t.
>>Okay, I promise, there is absolutely
no ice down right now. So, we’re gonna go back
to you guys in the arena, so we’ll see you
in a few minutes. (light piano music) Welcome back! And we’ve got another
student waiting to talk to about his
experiences at GRCC. What’s your name?
>>Solomon Leroy Gant.>>Did you like going to GRCC?
>>Oh, yeah! At first, when I went there,
I had not idea that I was– I didn’t even want
to go at first. But my sister, you know,
she told me to go. And ever since I went
there, you know, it’s probably been
the best decision that I’ve ever
made in my life. I would do it
all over again. I would– if I did
it all over again, I would do the
exact same thing.>>Wow, you just answered nine
questions I was gonna ask you.>>(laughing)
Well, you know, I already
know these answers for myself, so I might as well
just get them all out anyway. You know?
>>What are you graduating
with tonight?>>Associate of Arts. Associate of
Arts, yeah. I’m thinking about
doing Communication. I’m transferring over
to Belmont University in Tennessee. That’s in
Nashville area. And there, I’m most likely
going to study music. I’d like to say
“music therapy.”>>Fantastic– do you
have family in there?>>In music therapy?
>>No, inside Van Andel.>>Oh, of course,
of course– yes, yes, I do. I was thinking, “They may
be seeing me right now.” I’m not sure.
>>Yeah, you’re like
10-feet tall in there.>>Am I? Oh, I can’t wait to see
what this looks like later. Will I see it later?
>>No.>>Oh, well,
never mind, then.>>No, just say
hi to them.>>Hi, Dad, Mom,
everyone else– Vanessa– no,
Vanessa’s not there. But hi! Holla, guys!
>>Thanks, Solomon. Okay, and next up, we have…
>>James Hernandez.>>And James, what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Uh, Associate’s in Culinary
Arts and Personal Chefs.>>Ooo, so you’re
gonna be a chef, huh?>>I’m a chef
currently. I work at FOODesign
by Chef Brech. I do catering at
banquets, yeah.>>Excellent– are you going
into business for yourself? Can I get your
services for catering?>>Oh, absolutely,
you can get service. I have a business card
for you, if you want to. Yeah, we’re pretty
reasonable in price, and I actually work for a chef
who has been in the industry for quite some
long time. And he’s a graduate from the
GRCC culinary program as well, so…>>All right, see me
before you graduate. And we’ll go
look that up. So, who do you have
family there tonight?>>I do– I have
my wife, Amy. Both my brothers,
Rocky and Phillip, and a couple of my sons,
Austin and Anthony, and Brianna,
and yeah.>>Do you want to do a
big, silly wave to them?>>Big silly wave? Hey!>>Cool, thank you
very much.>>All right,
thank you.>>Okay, now, over here,
we have a student. He’s actually
a friend of mine. What’s your name, sir?
>>Brian Whitsett.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Tonight, I’m graduating
with my Associate’s degree.>>Now, you got a lot of
stuff around your neck here. Can you explain
what it all is?>>Yeah, this is the
Phi Theta Kappa medallion, just for being a part
of the Honor’s Society. I got my honors cord here,
also part of Phi Theta Kappa. And then, this is just
the standard scarf thing. I don’t really know
what it’s called.>>Well, and you’re
wearing standard blue, which is good because
everyone else is wearing blue.>>Yeah.
>>Now, do you want to say
hi to any family in there?>>Uh…
yeah, sure. I’d like to say hi
to my Dad and my Mom who’s standing
over there. Yeah, I think that’s
pretty much it.>>Well, cool, because
I know your mom pretty well.>>Oh, that’s good.>>All right, well, hey–
good luck in there, okay?>>Yeah, thanks, man. Nice to see ya.>>Okay, we’re going to
go back over here again. Okay, this is the
really nervous group. And their first
nervous person is…>>Nicole Yalacki.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>My Associate’s in Arts,
but Pre-Business.>>What does
that get you?>>Um, well, the
Associate’s in Arts is because of like
the MACRAO Agreement. So, I took, like,
all business classes, but I took your
general English, math, so I got the Arts,
but Pre-Business.>>Wow, you really
know what you’re doing.>>(laughing)
Yeah. Because I was like–
I talked to the counselor and he told me “Arts,”
and I was kind of confused, and he explained
it all, so…>>Excellent.
>>Got it all down now.>>Okay, who– do you
have family in there?>>Yeah. Hi, Grandma, Dad, Mom,
Judy, Lisa, and Tony.>>Hi, you guys! Thank you very much.
>>Thank you.>>Okay, next up– now, this
one– she’s a little nervous. She was not aware that
Motley Crue was playing tonight. So, you know, I
had to fill her in. So, what’s your name?
>>Patty VanderVeen.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Associate’s of Arts.>>And you didn’t even
look on your card.>>No– I know that one.
(chuckling)>>I know, there’s not
many people that know!>>Wow.
>>Now, do you have
family in there?>>Lots of family.>>Okay, you list
every one of them.>>No, that will get me in
trouble– I’ll forget. But the most important– my
husband and three kids, so hi!>>That was very
politically correct. And hi to everyone else
that’s in there, too, that she won’t mention.
>>Yes. (laughing) Okay, next up, we have…
>>Nicole Dietrich.>>And you have kids
in there, don’t you?>>Yes, I do.>>Now, how old are those kids?
>>Almost 12 and almost 10.>>Okay, what are their names?
>>Benny and Travis.>>Do you want
to wave to them?>>(laughing)
Yes. My cap’s not
staying on, so…>>You can get
help with that. There is people
in line for that.>>Yeah, I’ll find them. (chuckling)
It just started, so…>>What are you
graduating with?>>Associate’s
of the Arts.>>What do you want to
do with that degree?>>Not entirely
certain yet. So, I think I’ll probably be
doing some substitute teaching in the meanwhile.
>>That sounds great. Good luck to you!
>>Thank you.>>Okay, and next up, this guy really didn’t
want to be on at all, but I had to
really drag him. What’s your name?
>>Ken Damon.>>And what are you
graduating with tonight?>>Arts and Sciences,
Associate’s.>>And what do you
want to do with that?>>Well, I work on
computer applications– I worked IT for many years,
but had taught myself. This will help me get certified
to stay in that field.>>Okay, now, do you
have family in there?>>I do–
four children and probably eight
grandkids, there, as well.>>Name ’em.
>>(chuckling) Okay, I will. Andrea, Rebecca, Matt,
Kara, are my kids. Ethan, Elise, Jacob, Eli, Mason,
Trey, and Noah and Ellie.>>Wow, I have no idea
if you’re right or not, but that’s really good!
>>(laughing) Yeah.>>And what are you
planning on doing after the graduation
tonight?>>Oh, we’ll go out to eat
as a family together.>>Where are you going to go?
>>Probably Arnies.>>Oh, do you mind
if I go along?>>You could come right along,
as long as you pay! That’s all we care! (laughing)
>>I’ll pay. I’ve got an
account for that.>>(laughing)
All right, all right.>>All right, thank you
very much. Okay, we’re going back to
you guys in the arena, and we’ll see you
in a few minutes. (gentle guitar music) (cheering, applause) (Zo Elliott’s
“British Eighth March”) (orchestral music)>>(announcer)
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Grand Rapids
Community College 98th commencement
exercises! (applause, cheering) Carrying the college’s
gonfalons, Jaedah Pickens, the former President for
the Black Student Union, and Rachel Alberta, a
member of Phi Theta Kappa and recognized
as Delta Pi Alpha. (orchestral music) Now, please welcome the
Grand Rapids Community College graduating class
of 2015! (applause, cheering) (orchestral music) (orchestral music) Carrying the
school’s gonfalons, Arielle Brown, President
of the Student Alliance, and Ben Giese, Executive Vice President of
Campus Activities Board. (orchestral music) Now, please welcome
the faculty of Grand Rapids
Community College led by their respective
associate deans! (applause, cheering)
(orchestral music) Entering on the left
are the departments in the School of
Arts and Sciences. Entering on
the right will be the School of
Workforce Development, and School of
Student Affairs. (orchestral music) Please welcome faculty
from Biological Sciences. Applied Technology. (orchestral music) The faculty from the
Education departments. (orchestral music) And Automotive. (orchestral music) Also, please welcome the
faculty from Exercise Science, and the Business
departments. (orchestral music) The faculty from the
English departments. And Computer
Information Systems. (orchestral music) Please welcome the faculty
from Language and Thoughts. And Criminal Justice. (orchestral music) The faculty from the
Mathematics departments. (orchestral music) And the Secchia Institute
for Culinary Education. (orchestral music) Welcome the faculty from
the Music department. And the Dental faculty. (orchestral music) Please welcome the faculty
from Physical Sciences… and Mechanical and
Architectural Design. (orchestral music) The Psychology
departments. And the faculty
from Manufacturing. Welcome the faculty
from Social Sciences, and the Nursing
faculty. (orchestral music) The faculty from the
Theater departments, and Occupational
Therapy Assisting. (orchestral music) Also, the faculty
from Visual Arts and the Radiological
Technology department. The faculty from
the Library and, as well, Counseling
and Career Center, Career Development
Services, Disability and Occupational
Support Services, Student Support
Services, and tutor coordinators in
Health, Business, Biology, Math, and
Science. (orchestral music) Entering at this
time is the dias… the President of Grand Rapids
Community College… the Faculty Association
President… the Grand Rapids Community
College Board of Trustees… the Provost… the Dean of the School
of Arts and Sciences… the Dean of the School of
Workforce Development… Presidential Medal
Award recipients… the Distinguished
Alumni recipient… and co-chair of the 100-Year
Anniversary Milestone Committee. (orchestral music) Ladies and gentlemen,
please be seated. Now, please welcome GRCC alumnus
and spoken word artist, Azizi Jasper! (applause, cheering) (music)>>Tomorrow’s return
is only as good as today’s
investment…>>Our task, Mr. President,
is to understand one another.>>Women and girls,
given training…>>Now, the time has
come for this nation to fulfill
its promises.>>I have a dream, Grand
Rapids Junior College…>>One of the best
institutions…>>Thankfully, there
were those bright enough to have the
foresight, to invest in today,
yesterday. Visionaries just as determined
to change their world. As much and sometimes more than
the world around them changed.>>The idea of a Junior
College was in the air.>>Years of yesterdays
made us who we are today, the promise and sheer
potential of tomorrow, we cannot afford
to waste.>>Real educational opportunity
to serious-minded students.>>We work so
hard today that it’ll be better
than yesterday, as if prophetic… for potential if nothing
if not turned kinetic. (energetic music) We stand on the
totemic shoulders of those who
stood before us, those who stood
for something, those who sat in,
those who sat down.>>Our college, to be strong,
needs the student view.>>Those who sought
opportunity, those who found, in hopes that their
sons and daughters would never
have to settle than for less than
what their potential intended.>>The college has to rise
to meet the new challenges.>>Passing to us, those
sons and daughters the baton of education,
the baton of equal access.>>Diversity is a very
important thing at Grand Rapids
Community College.>>Of diversity,
coexistence, scholasticism, the baton
of respect, of community, inclusion,
and free thought.>>Don’t turn your back
on the new revolution, the new reform.>>With the knowledge
that, with every lap, that baton becomes just
a little bit lighter for the next
generation to bear.>>The community college–
it is the great force for democratization
in this country.>>Changing
with the times to help change the times
when they are hard.>>We stay ahead, only
if we work together.>>We are creators,
we are innovators.>>If we are to remain
competitive and thrive, we must adapt
and change. We are today’s
investment. We are tomorrow’s
return. We are the
promise of now. This very moment. We are the sum
of 100 years. We are the potential
of 100 more. We are GRCC. (energetic music)
(applause, cheering)>>Thank you, Azizi! A great talent, and
we are so proud to call him
an alum of GRCC. Tonight, I’d also like us
to show our appreciation to professor
Michael Gillan and the Wind Ensemble. They will be
providing us music throughout this
special evening. (applause) So, welcome
to the 2015 Grand Rapids Community
College commencement. (audience cheering)
While each of us– while each of
our commencements have been a cause
for celebration, this one is
especially noteworthy as Grand Rapids Community
College celebrates 100 years. This evening, we salute and
celebrate our rich history, honoring people who have
contributed to both our college and to our
community. And finally, we look
forward to the future as we celebrate the hard work
and accomplishments of these 2015
graduates. When we started
100 years ago as the state’s first
Junior College, we operated out of
Central High School building on Fountain Street. At that time, we offered
Mathematics, History, Rhetoric and Composition,
German, Latin, Biology, and Physics
to 49 students. Tonight, of the more than 1,900
students graduating from GRCC, you will see
nearly 600 students cross this stage to
receive their degrees, and those degrees now
encompass programs from Applied Technology
to Visual Arts. We’re so proud of
these 600 students, and our past record of those
marching was about 400, and tonight, to have 600
here is fabulous for us. We just love
seeing you here. (applause) I am also so pleased
to see so many families, friends, and
community members. Thank you for joining us in
saluting the accomplishments of our graduates. I am also very pleased to
bring you special greetings from President
Barack Obama. He says, “I am pleased
to join in celebrating “your 100th
anniversary. “America’s community colleges
serve as a gateway to growth “and an engine for our
country’s progress. “All of our people deserve the
chance to access knowledge “and compete
in our economy, “and a post-secondary degree
is the surest way “to widen those doors
of opportunity. “Schools like GRCC
enrich communities “and help people weave
their unique stories “into the American narrative,
with confidence and skill. “By cultivating the talents of
those willing to reach high “and work toward
their dreams, “you help uphold our
nation’s founding promise “that all things are
possible for all people. “As you mark
your Centennial, “I hope you take great pride
in the ways your school “has touched the
lives of students “and made a mark
in Michigan. “I wish you all the best
for the years ahead.” Signed,
“Barack Obama.” (applause) Now, I would ask for you
all to rise and sing with our talented
musicians as they perform the
National Anthem. The National Anthem will be led
by professor Kevin Dobreff, Program Director of
our Music department. (drum roll) (orchestral music)
>>(all singing)
♪ Oh say can you see ♪ ♪ By the dawn’s
early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly
we hail’d ♪ ♪ At the twilight’s
last gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripes
and bright stars ♪ ♪ Thro’ the
perilous fight ♪ ♪ O’er the ramparts
we watch’d ♪ ♪ were so gallantly
streaming ♪ ♪ And the rockets’
red glare ♪ ♪ The bombs
bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof
thro’ 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. As we begin tonight’s
commencement, please join me in
a moment of silence so each of us can express our
appreciation, in our own way, for the bright future these
graduates will help to create. Thank you. It is a pleasure for me
to introduce to you our platform guests
for the evening. Please hold your applause until
each group is introduced. First, our Board
of Trustees. Mr. Bert Bleke–
Chairperson of the Board and retired superintendent of
Grand Rapids Public Schools. Mr. Richard Verburg– Vice Chairperson of
the Board of Trustees and retired from
General Motors. Dr. Richard Ryskamp–
Secretary of the Board and attending physician
at St. Mary’s healthcare. Miss Ellen James–
Treasurer of the Board, and retired from the
city of Grand Rapids Equal Opportunity
department. Miss Deb Bailey–
trustee, Director of Global
Corporate Relations at Steelcase,
Incorporated. Miss Cynthia Bristol–
trustee, retired faculty member of
Grand Rapids Community College. And Dr. Richard Stewart–
trustee, and retired professor from
Cornerstone University. Please join me
in a warm welcome for our honored
Board of Trustees. (applause) Now, please allow me to
introduce our other guests on the stage. Dr. Laurie Chesley–
Provost and Executive
Vice President for Academic and
Student Affairs. Dr. Fiona Hert– Dean of the
School of Workforce Development. Dr. Mike Vargo, Dean of the
School of Arts and Sciences. Miss Terri Handlin– recipient of the 2015
Distinguished Alumna Award, retired administrator at
Forest Hills Public Schools. Miss Susan Ford Bales– Presidential Medallion
recipient. Mr. Steve Abid– professor in
the Social Science department. And Mr. Fred van Hartesveldt– professor of the
English department, and President of our
Faculty Association. Please give them
a warm welcome. (applause) Now, if you would,
I’d like to introduce your other
college guests, our exceptional faculty
and dedicated administrators. I’d please ask all
of you to stand so we could recognize
your work and commitment with these students that
are graduating tonight. Please, faculty and staff,
rise so we can recognize you. (applause, cheering) And finally, for
the 600 students that are with
us tonight, I think it’s
incredibly important that we recognize
your parents, your family, and your friends,
those close to you. No one earns a credential
in higher education without tremendous support
from people around them. People that are there
to say, “Yes, you can,” when you have those days
when you’re just not sure. People to take care
of the children because you have work
to do for school. You know, without
those loving arms, it would be a very,
very difficult path. So, please, let’s recognize
all of those loved ones that are with
us tonight. (applause, cheering) Now, it is my pleasure
to introduce Ellen James. She is our Board of Trustees
member who will be presenting our Distinguished
Alumna award. Miss James. (applause)>>Good evening. On behalf of my
fellow trustees, our faculty
and staff, I would like to welcome you
to our 2015 commencement of Grand Rapids
Community College. As they cross
the stage tonight, yesterday’s GRCC students become
graduates, and then, alumni. The many achievements
of our alumni have helped fuel
the growth and added to the history
of West Michigan for the past
100 years. We will honor one special
alumna this evening. Terri Handlin has
spent her career advancing the field
of education. She has spent time in
classrooms and boardrooms, promoting such innovations as
computer use in classrooms, co-op programs,
mentoring, experimental learning,
and diversity education. Her commitment service
has encompassed the Girl Scouts of
Michigan Trails, the Women’s
History Council, the Chamber
of Commerce’s Business and Workforce
Development Committee, the Association of
University Women, and the Institute
for Healing Racism. But throughout
Terri’s career, she has always found
time for GRCC. Let me just say, throughout
her busy, busy, busy time, she has always
found time for GRCC. She was elected to the founding
Board of Trustees in 1991. She served as Treasurer,
Secretary, and Chairperson of the Finance Committee. Terri retired from the
Board of Trustees in 2014. I, along with my
fellow Board members, always appreciated
her experience, her wisdom,
and her humor. Please watch the video with
me that will honor Terri. (music)>>I was part of
that generation where women could
be four things– teacher, housewife,
secretary, and nurse. I did, right
after high school– I went to
Ferris State College to get a Technical Secretarial
Skills certificate. Well, I was fortunate enough
to get a job at General Motors, and then just got completely,
“Wow, I don’t want to do this “for the rest
of my life.” That’s when I
went back to GRJC. (music) I went to
Marywood Academy, but I wasn’t the
top of the class, so I had a lot of
confidence-building to do. So, at ‘CC–
er, ‘JC at the time– there were
smaller classes, you know, the teachers cared
more, professors cared more. It fit a working
woman’s schedule. It just all
fell into place. In fact, it was like a
moment of disappointment when I was done, because it was
such an enriching experience. And then,
I never stopped. I got a job at Forest Hills
Public Schools in 1978, and then, I ended up being
Director of Vocational and Career Education. (music) What drove me to run, definitely, was the experience
at ‘JC, and then, my experience
on the Alumni Board, because I saw
the difference that the Junior College was
making in this community. And we were really– when you
compare how we are today– ‘CC– we were
quite small. Think of all the
things we’ve done. Just proud of the fact that
I could represent people who needed ‘JC, who needed
to go back to college. I could represent
and be a voice. Because I really hope that
how I have given back to our community will influence each
and every one of you to be inspired to get
involved in your own way. GRCC helped me
become who I became, you know, from building that
nervous young woman at 26. I just really
feel honored, but I think GRCC is
the place to be. (applause)
>>Ladies and gentlemen, it is my
great pleasure to bestow the 2015
Distinguished Alumna award to my friend,
Terri Handlin! (applause)>>Oh, thank you, Ellen! (applause)>>And now, it’s my pleasure to
introduce Professor Steve Abid, who will be
introducing the Presidential
Medallion recipient. Steve? (applause)>>Thank you,
President Ender. Congratulations
to the graduates! I wish you well in whatever the
future has in store for you, and I hope you will come
back and visit us often! For those of you who
had me for class, I promise this
will be way shorter than one of
my lectures. We may even get
out on time. As we officially bring
our 100-year anniversary to a close
this evening, I am honored to introduce one
of the awards we are presenting. The year-long
centennial celebration reinforced the idea that,
over the past century, GRCC has
been integral to the growth and
success of West Michigan. As we complete the commemoration
of that history tonight, we also honor and celebrate
the accomplishments of our area’s most
famous resident, who also was integral to
the growth and success of our region and
this institution. While Gerald Ford
was born in Nebraska, he became identified
with Grand Rapids, sharing our values
and character with the nation
and the world. He did not seek a
place in history, but he was willing to
meet its challenges. His steady strength
comforted and restored the faith of a
nation in turmoil. Allow me to use a quote
to provide you a glimpse at the depth of character
of this great man. Upon taking the oath of office
as President on August 9, 1974, Mr. Ford stated–
“I am acutely aware “that you have not elected me as
your President by your ballots, “and so I ask you
to confirm me “as your President
with your prayers. “And I hope that such prayers
will be the first of many.” Continuing,
he said, “I have not sought this
enormous responsibility, “but I will
not shirk it. “Those who nominated and
confirmed me as Vice President “were my friends
and are my friends. “They were of
both parties, “elected by
all the people, “and acting under the
Constitution in their name. “It is only fitting, then,
that I should pledge to them “and to you “that I will be the President
of all the people.” Tonight, we will recognize
President Gerald R. Ford for his accomplishments,
his character, candor, and
integrity. We wish to honor Gerald Ford’s
legacy of leadership to the world, to the nation,
and to West Michigan. We wish to applaud
Gerald R. Ford’s commitment and unwavering support
Grand Rapids Community College by bestowing,
posthumously, the college’s
Presidential Medallion, an honor shared
with GRCC Presidents that has only been awarded
outside the campus community once before. Accepting the medallion on
President Ford’s behalf will be his daughter,
Susan Ford Bales. Along with her mother,
Susan Ford Bales helped launch National Breast
Cancer Awareness Month in 1984 and has served as
a national spokeswoman for breast cancer
awareness. As a spouse of a
breast cancer survivor, I cannot begin to tell
you how much of an impact these efforts
have made. Susan has served
as a trustee of the Gerald R. Ford
Presidential Foundation since 1981 and is Co-Chairperson of
its Programs Committee. She was elected to
the Betty Ford Center’s Board of Directors
in 1992 and served as that panel’s
Chairwoman from 2005 to 2010. She is the ship’s sponsor
for the aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, which she
officially christened in 2013. Mrs. Bales is also a member
of the Advisory Board of the Rosalynn Carter
Fellowships for Mental Health, a trustee of the President
Gerald R. Ford Historical Legacy and Elizabeth B. Ford
Charitable Trusts, and a member of the Betty Ford
Alpine Gardens Foundation’s Executive Board, and the Board of Directors of
the Bosque School in New Mexico. Please watch
this tribute to our Presidential
Medallion recipient. (music)>>(narrator)
Anyone familiar with
our nation’s history is aware of the pivotal role
Gerald Ford played during his time as President
of the United States, helping the nation heal after
the presidential transition, easing Cold War
tensions, confronting disputes in the
Middle East and Southeast Asia, while dealing with
economic challenges at home. Anyone familiar with
Michigan history is aware of
Gerald Ford’s role as an evolving leader and
advocate for the region, from his time at Grand Rapids
South High School, to the University
of Michigan, his naval service
during World War II, and his election as our
representative to Congress where he served
for 25 years. Today, our community’s
infrastructure reflects the honor we
feel for this native son. From schools
to our airport to the highway that winds
through West Michigan, the very highway that wraps
around his Presidential Museum. GRCC’s personal connection
with Gerald Ford extends back to his
time as a congressman, when he hosted our students
in Washington, DC, in 1959… and, just a few
years later, delivered the
commencement address here on our campus. The strength of
that bond only grew and, in the fall of 1976,
resulted in the dedication of the Gerald R. Ford
Fieldhouse. The facility represented a
substantial step forward, housing not only our
athletics programs, but also many important
community events, events including visits from
current and former US Presidents just like
Ford himself.>>(Pres. Gerald Ford)
It’s a very high honor for me to participate
in the Talk Fest on the campus of
Grand Rapids Junior College, which you know and I know is
one of the best in quality throughout the
entire United States. (applause)>>(narrator)
Our connection to him is remembered in
that facility. Many of the tens of thousands
who have graduated from GRCC since 1976 have done so
under its roof, and coincidentally, just one year after he
would have turned 100, we are hitting
our century mark, and are thrilled to share
a moment in the sun with Gerald Ford.>>(Pres. Gerald Ford)
Since leaving the White House a little over
four years ago, I’ve had the opportunity
of lecturing at 68 colleges and universities. I firmly believe that
this group of young people are fully prepared to
do an outstanding job for our country. I congratulate them and I’m proud of them,
as I’m sure all of you are. (applause) (music) (applause)>>I now invite Susan Ford Bales
to the podium, along with
President Ender, who will bestow the
Presidential Medallion in honor of her father,
President Gerald R. Ford. (applause)>>So, it is a
personal honor for me to be able to award this
medallion tonight, Mrs. Bales. Clearly, your father’s
legacy of leadership and commitment…
uh, hard, hard work at a very difficult time in
the history of our country… for us to be able to
recognize that tonight is quite exceptional
as part of our 100 years. And it wasn’t
just a country that– as I understand–
Gerald Ford affected. It was the nation,
it was the globe, it was Michigan, and
it was Grand Rapids. We say on the back
of the medallion, “In honor of Gerald Ford’s
legacy of leadership “to the world,
to the nation, “and to West Michigan. “May 1, 2015.” Thank you
very much. (applause) (applause)>>Thank you, Steve,
President Ender, Joe and Donna Calvaruso, distinguished ladies
and gentlemen. But let me
first shout out to the members of
the class of 2015– well done
and bravo! Congratulations. (applause, cheering) But I also want to
give a special tribute to the parents and the
families of the class of 2015. I personally know and
love and sacrifice that you put into making
this day possible, so class of
2015 members, please join me in congratulating
and thanking your parents and your families
for a job well done. (applause, cheering) I assure you, graduates,
no one– absolutely no one– expects you to remember anything
that is said this evening. And most definitely, my
remarks are no exception. Thank you,
President Ender, to Grand Rapids
Community College for this extraordinary honor
that you have given my dad. Dad was the college
commencement speaker in 1963. He was a huge supporter
of the college, as Grand Rapids’
Congressman, as President, and in the decades after
in the White House. He would have
been thrilled to be a part of this
100th anniversary. I know how proud and grateful
Dad would have been to be honored by a college
that meant so much to him, particularly this one in his
hometown of Grand Rapids. So, on behalf of Dad,
I thank you for this honor, and most of all, I thank
you for allowing Dad and me to become a part of this
remarkable institution. America has had 43 men who
have served 44 presidencies. Grover Cleveland was
the comeback kid. Every presidency has
its highs and lows, and some Presidents
have suffered in the gaze
of history. Others, like Dad
and Harry Truman, have benefited from
the longer perspective. In my dad’s case, history
has been very kind. As David Broder observed,
“In an odd and inexplicable way, “the truth has begun to dawn
on the American people “that Gerald Ford was
the kind of President “Americans always wanted and
didn’t know that they had,” end quote. And you can draw a straight
line to a single place, to a single community, to understand
our 38th President and his special place
in the nation’s history. George W. Bush spoke for
all Americans when he said, “Our country
seems blessed “to find the right leader
at the right time. “Through that
special providence, “the times found
Gerald Ford. “And when he elevated
to the presidency, “it was because
America needed him, “not because he
needed the office. “He assumed the presidency when
the nation needed a leader “of integrity
and humility, “and we found it in the
man from Grand Rapids,” end quote. Every day of that 895 days
of his presidency, Dad relied upon the lessons
he learned in this community. And this evening, I would
like to share one example of how Grand Rapids
made him into the man, and how Grand Rapids
was the core of what he was as
the President. Some of you may
know that Dad was one of the strongest
Presidents for civil rights and equal rights. And for example, we all
witnessed wonderful progress in women’s athletics,
brought about by Title IX. Title IX, ladies and gentlemen,
was issued by my dad. He was–
(applause) (applause) He was the first President to
appoint women to Annapolis and West Point, and he made certain to have
diversity in his administration, particularly for
Americans of color. Of course, to the
people of Grand Rapids, his commitment to all Americans,
whatever their race, whatever their
national origin, and whatever their
place in life, was no surprise. And as some of you may know, my
dad was an all-American center on the national champion team
of the University of Michigan. And in their
1934 season, the Wolverines were scheduled
to play Georgia Tech. However, Georgia Tech
refused to take the field unless Michigan benched their
star halfback, Willis Ward. Now, there are several things
about the Georgia Tech demand that affected
my dad. Willis Ward was
a star player. Willis Ward was the
fastest guy on the team. Willis Ward was Dad’s
close friend on the team, and oh, yes,
Willis Ward was black. The Georgia Tech
demand was simple. “We will not come
to Ann Arbor “unless the black player
is kept off the field.” Unfortunately, and in what was
certainly not the greatest hour, Michigan agreed, and Dad’s friend,
Willis Ward, was benched. But the story
didn’t end there. Dad did something that
also was unthinkable, particularly
for the Captain of the University of
Michigan football team. Dad decided, since his
friend was being benched solely because of
the color of his skin, Dad would respond,
and he did, and he quit
the team. (applause) But late
that night, Willis Ward came
to my dad’s room, and the two friends
spoke for a long time. And Willis
told my dad, (crying)
he knew what was
in my dad’s heart. And he begged my
dad to reconsider, not just for Willis,
but for their team. So, finally, after that
very personal, special time, my dad stayed
on the team. And that Saturday, he led
the team onto the field at The Big House and Michigan won
the game, 9-0. (applause) Ladies and gentlemen,
that lesson of equality is one that Gerald Ford
first learned here in Grand Rapids, and it is a lesson of equality
Gerald Ford carried with him for the rest
of his life. So, in the twilight
of his life, my dad remarked, “When
I wake up at night, “and I can’t sleep,
I think of Grand Rapids.” So, to receive the honor
for Dad at this college and in this city that
he loved so very much, means more than words of
thanks I could possibly muster. On behalf of the 38th President
of the United States, thank you, from the bottom
of my heart, for this honor. May God bless and watch
over the class of 2015, and Grand Rapids
Community College, and God bless
America. Thank you. (applause, cheering)>>At this time, the GRCC
Concert Choir will present “The Music of Living”
by Dan Forrest. The Concert Choir is
under the direction of Sophomore music major,
Samantha Erickson, and accompanied by
Dr. Kenneth Bos. (energetic piano music)>>(all singing)
♪ Giver of life ♪ ♪ Creator of all
that is lovely ♪ ♪ Teach me to
sing the words ♪ ♪ To your song ♪ (energetic piano music) ♪ I want to feel the
music of living ♪ ♪ I want to feel ♪ ♪ The music of living ♪>>(men singing)
♪ And not fear the sad song ♪>>(women singing)
♪ But rather make new songs ♪>>(all singing)
♪ Composed of both
laughter and tears ♪ (energetic piano music) ♪ Giver of life ♪ ♪ Creator of all
that is lovely ♪ ♪ Teach me to dance
to the songs ♪ ♪ Of your world ♪ ♪ I want to move
I want to move ♪ ♪ In rhythm with your plan
in rhythm with your plan ♪ ♪ Happy to follow
your leading ♪>>(men singing)
♪ To risk even falling ♪>>(women singing)
♪ To rise and keep trying ♪>>(men singing)
♪ For you are leading
the dance ♪>>(women singing)
♪ For you are
leading the dance ♪>>(all singing)
♪ For you are leading
the dance ♪ (energetic piano music) ♪ Giver of life ♪ ♪ Creator of all
that is lovely ♪ ♪ Teach me to
sing the words ♪ ♪ To your song ♪ (applause)>>Thank you. What a ton
of talent. Just beautiful–
thank you. Our commencement
speaker tonight can certainly speak to
the “community” part of Grand Rapids
Community College. Bert Bleke started his career
as a teacher and administrator in the East Grand Rapids and
Forest Hills school districts before becoming
Superintendent of Lowell, and then, Grand Rapids
Public Schools. After retiring, he
turned his attention from K-12 students
to colleges, and was elected to our
Board of Trustees in 2011. It is my great pleasure to
introduce keynote speaker and Board of Trustees
Chairperson, Bert Bleke. (applause)>>Well, for those folks who are
expecting President Obama, I’m not him.
(audience laughing) And then, if that
isn’t bad enough, President Ford is
represented here. And then, President Ford’s
daughter said, I think quite
eloquently, that nobody is
going to remember a thing that is
said here tonight. (audience laughing) I don’t know what
I’m doing here! (audience laughing) It kinda reminds me of a
story that Abraham Lincoln used to tell, about the man who was about
to be tarred and feathered. So, they got
the tar out. And they said, “Listen, do you
want to have any final words “before we tar
and feather you?” And the guy thought for a
few minutes and he said, “You know, if it wasn’t for the
honor of this whole thing, “I would rather be
someplace else.” And that’s exactly
how I feel. (audience chuckling) So, you know, 100 years
is an awful long time. You can tell. Dr. Ender is not
even 100 years old. But I think we forget
another anniversary that is taking place, actually two weeks ago,
but 150 years ago. 150 years ago,
on April 15th, Abraham Lincoln was actually
assassinated on the 14th and died on
the 15th. So, this is really an important
anniversary for all of us. I think that when we reflect
on the responsibilities of Presidents, and the impact that Presidents
make on all of our lives, as witnessed again
this evening, President Lincoln changed
all of our lives forever, and yet, I think it’s
important to mention, on that anniversary
of 150 years, that, as evidenced by many
things that we’re seeing in so many of our
cities today, that that work
is not done, and that all of us,
as a community, and including
Grand Rapids, have a responsibility to
make this a better world for everybody. And I think it’s particularly a
responsibility of our youngsters who are graduating
this evening. We all can make
a difference. And we all can’t be Presidents
of the United States, but every one of
us in this room can make a difference and
make this a better place for everybody in
our community. And really, that’s
kind of our job. I’m now at the point
of my speech, where… (scattered applause) I’m supposed to
give you advice. But I have
no advice. And I know
it’s 8:12, and you’re not going to
remember a thing I say anyhow. (audience laughing) But I do have
one observation. This observation is not
based on scientific research. It’s based on
me observing. And the observation is simple,
and I think it’s very true. Here it is… “Life is not fair.” (applause) Now, here’s the
interesting part. I think the living
example of that… sits in our
graduating class. Because in sitting with
our graduating class are all different
kinds of stories. And everybody
has a story. And many, many graduates
who are here this evening have come through very,
very difficult times. So, you really have to ask
a very simple question. How did you
get here? Why are you
sitting here? And many of your friends,
who started with you, are no longer here? Why are you here? And other people
have dropped out? Viktor Frankl, who was incarcerated in
a concentration camp during World War II,
wrote a book. It’s a very skinny book–
it’s about 90 pages. I’d recommend that
everybody reads that. The name of the book is
“Man’s Search for Meaning.” And in that book, he lays out
a very simple equation. And that is that we cannot,
as man and women, we cannot control
all the time, and we cannot control many of
the time what happens to us. But we can control how we
react to what happens to us. And that, I would think, is the
one thing you should remember. Your attitude… makes all the difference
in the world. So, many things happen
to us every day, which we have
no control over. But we can control our attitude,
so we live inside our heads. We have the ability,
the freedom to choose. And I think that many of
you who have graduated, are sitting here, saying
to yourself right now, “You know, I done
pretty good.” And you have. Because you already know that
one of the great secrets is not what happens, but how you handle it,
and how you react to that. So, you will
remember that. There will be
a test tomorrow– (audience laughing)
oh, tomorrow’s Saturday. Probably not. So, that’s
all I know. I would like to take one
second to thank the faculty. The heart of any educational
system is teaching. And teaching is both a
science, but also an art. It’s a human
endeavor. And I heard so many stories
over the past several months of how many graduates have
been impacted by teachers here at this school, going over and above board
to help young people be successful. And I want to thank every
single faculty member here, personally–
(applause) (applause) For doing a
wonderful job. It’s all about the
human experience. And also, many other employees
of this system who work hard to make sure that
everything works. The Board of Trustees are deeply
grateful for your contributions, also, and
very thankful. And to you who
are graduating, I suggest you have
fun, work hard, make mistakes, and remember my
little speech. (audience laughing)
(applause) (applause)>>Thank you,
Chairperson Bleke. Last year, we celebrated
the 25th anniversary of an organization
that we are very proud to be connected with–
the Noorthoek Academy. Since 1989,
Noorthoek Academy has been
our partner in providing a post-secondary
college experience in the arts and sciences for
folks with special needs. Tonight, I’m
extremely honored to confer honorary
Associate of Arts degrees on two Noorthoek
Academy students who share a lifelong friendship
and a love of learning. Best friends Sue Udell
and Betty Malmyga have attended Noorthoek together
for more than two decades. Betty previously
attended St. Isidore and Sacred Heart
Catholic Schools, and then,
Coldbrook School. She then completed
employment training programs and worked at the
Pantlind Hotel, the Department of
Human Services, and Kohl’s
department store. She now participates in
a day program for seniors at Hope Network. Sue attended
Coldbrook School and then Kent
Occupational High School. She completed employment
training programs and worked at Family Fare
and the Pantlind Hotel. She now works for
Hope Network Industries. Please watch this tribute to
our honorary degree recipients. (music)>>Betty and Sue have been part
of the program for so long, they’ve just kinda
always been there, it sorta seems
like to me. All of the Noorthoek students
who have gotten honorary degrees just love to
learn so much. And Betty and Sue
are no different. They just love
coming to class. If they have to limp their
way through the door, that’s what
they will do.>>I love both
Betty and Sue, they deserve an
honorary degree because they work
very hard for it.>>They’ve been friends
for about 30 years, and Betty is
Sue’s best friend.>>She laughs
all the time. And we study about
science, poems, poetry.>>I used to go up north,
with my grandparents.>>I’m excited. My niece is having
a baby girl.>>For Betty, she’s
so excited about it. She’s really good at
everything that she does. And she just
really loves it. It has been very good
experience for her.>>I think she’s very happy
that she’s reached that goal. It’s meant
a lot to her. It has taken
a long time. And she finally– finally
getting the recognition means a lot to her.>>I know that
for both of them, this has just been
a dream of theirs. Um, and from the
time I met them, they told me this was
a goal that they had.>>Congratulations
to both of them for their life
achievement.>>Congratulations
to Sue and Betty. Congratulations
to all… of you. (applause)>>Ladies and
gentlemen, honorary degree recipients
Betty Malmyga and Sue Udell. (applause) (applause, cheering) (applause) Well, we’re getting close
to unleashing the tigers. We are at the point
in tonight’s ceremony that you’ve all
been anticipating– the awarding
of diplomas. When you students join–
(applause, cheering) I knew you
were out there! (applause) When you students join
tens of thousands of others as proud
GRCC alumni. On behalf of all
of us on this stage and those who have
worked with each of you throughout your
time at GRCC, I want to wish you the best
in whatever step you take next, whether it’s on to a career
or further studies. You are now a part of
a 100-year history and our commitment
to excellence. We are proud to
call you “alumni.” And now, it’s time
for each to shine as you take that big walk
across the stage. As we confer your
respective degrees on each of you
this evening, I will be assisted
by Chairperson Bleke and all of the other members
of the Board of Trustees. Presenting the candidates
for confirmation are Provost Laurie Chesley,
Dean Mike Vargo, and Dean Fiona Hert. May I call to your
attention our students who are wearing gold ribbons
and gold medallions. These are our Delta Pi Alpha
students who are graduating this evening in the
top 5% of their class. (applause) The students with a
medallion on a blue ribbon, are members of the
Phi Theta Kappa International
Honor Society, and they have earned a grade
point average of 3.5 or better. (applause) The students with blue
and gold honor cords are members of our
honors program. These students have
completed all academic and service requirements to
graduate with this distinction. Finally, the students with
red, white, and blue cords are being honored for their
service to our country. (applause) And now, I will call
upon our Provost, Dr. Laurie Chesley, who will begin
the introductions.>>Will the Marshal now
present the candidates who will be graduated
with an Associate of Arts, Associate of
Fine Arts, Associate of Music, and Associate of
General Studies. Dr. Michael Vargo, Dean of the School of
Arts and Sciences, will present these
candidates this evening. Jaedah. (applause, cheering) Arielle Hallies Brown.
(applause, cheering) Rachel Lynn Alberta.
(applause, cheering) Kiara Marie Garrison.
(applause, cheering) Josh C. Centala.
(applause, cheering) Debra Kathleen Hoek.
(applause) Nancy Marie Vrooman.
(applause) Timothy L. Stillson.
(applause, cheering) Debra L. Townsend.
(applause) Yolanda Holly Boylan.
(applause) Shannon Elaine Gamel.
(applause, cheering) Nicholas Robert Bush.
(applause, cheering) Vanessa Ute Kroepsch. Yolanda Cruz-Olguin.
(applause, cheering) Carla L. Villasana Acosta.
(applause, cheering) Jerry Arlen Jones.
(applause, cheering) Meredith Jean McCann.
(applause, cheering) Erica Danielle Egler. Danielle Ruth Bagin.
(applause) Michaela Blough. Madeline Nicole McMahon. Rachel Lynne VanStee.
(applause) Eric Lee Wiersma.
(applause) Melissa Blanco.
(applause) Cameo O’Neil Ivy.
(applause, cheering) Jared William Monsma.
(applause) Hannah Cluley.
(applause) Michele M. Day.
(applause) Christopher Daniel Blik.
(applause) Nathanael R. Boorsma. Elexis Terrell.
(applause, cheering) Zachary Alan Boone.
(applause) Madeline Medellin.
(applause, cheering) Larry Marvin Peavey.
(applause) Stuart D. Miller.
(applause, cheering) Kathryn Anne Moritz.
(applause) Ashley L. Danner.
(applause) Sean S. Ritsema.
(applause, cheering) RaeAnn A. Zachow.
(applause, cheering) Tyler Edward Flath.
(applause, cheering) Nicole M. Guiles.
(applause, cheering) Daniel W. Brown. Amber E. Hornecker.
(applause) Kemper Wright.
(applause, cheering) Elizabeth Barba.
(applause, cheering) Lea T. Oliver.
(applause) Jason Khoury.
(applause, cheering) Lucinda Kay Moody.
(applause, cheering) Aikelah Shanay-Arnetta Johnson.
(applause, cheering) Noah VanHartesveldt.
(applause, cheering) Jacob J. Wagner.
(applause, cheering) Elizabeth S. Whiting.
(applause, cheering) Kristopher Lee Russo.
(applause, cheering) Latisa Sallie.
(applause) Jaime Hermilio Ramirez.
(applause) Zachary L. Beardsley.
(applause) Antonio Mendez.
(applause) Brian Whitsett.
(applause, cheering) Meghan G. Thornton.
(applause) Jaime Ellen Hoezee.
(applause, cheering) Elizabeth E. Hatt.
(applause) Madeline Tamara McIlhargey.
(applause, cheering) Michael W. Stanton.
(applause, cheering) Constance Louise Kline.
(applause, cheering) Rachel M. Kline.
(applause, cheering) Tracey A. Lacy.
(applause) Katrina Lynn Gallardo.
(applause, cheering) Rachel N. Neve.
(applause, cheering) Kristen J. Martyn.
(applause, cheering) Cayla A. Strandberg.
(applause, cheering) Joshua David Lackey.
(applause, cheering) Paige Marie Merrill.
(applause, cheering) Grace Delorah Davis.
(applause, cheering) Caitlyn Jo Campbell.
(applause, cheering) Whittney Herrick.
(applause) Verna C. Johnson.
(applause, cheering) Tammy Marie Krauss. Christopher Ray Krauss.
(applause) Penny Prominski.
(applause, cheering) Garrisen Kamille Wilson.
(applause, cheering) Ellen Sanders.
(applause, cheering) Tricia Buschert.
(applause, cheering) Jazmine Joy Gibbons.
(applause) Karen S. Willis.
(applause, cheering) Adam Jay Luchies.
(applause) Genet Abere Alemu.
(applause) Patricia Ann Dunn.
(applause) Pamela Christine Lowing. Brandon C. Stone.
(applause, cheering) Brittney Alt.
(applause, cheering) Angela Beth Machiela.
(applause, cheering) Michael Lusk.
(applause, cheering) Joshua Phillip Vissers.
(applause, cheering) Gabriel Wehby.
(applause) Tanya Cooke.
(applause, cheering) Nicole Dietrich.
(applause) Patricia Ann VanderVeen.
(applause, cheering) Jacqueline Waldron.
(applause, cheering) Nicole H. Yalacki.
(applause, cheering) Vinner Anderson Mendez.
(applause, cheering) Ricardo I. Navarrete-Mendez.
(applause, cheering) Rachel Tibbe.
(applause, cheering) Melissa Jones.
(applause, cheering) Robert Lee Bell.
(applause, cheering) Hector Vargas.
(applause, cheering) Elizabeth Ann Johnson.
(applause, cheering) Kasey Green.
(applause, cheering) Moriah Monica Faber.
(applause, cheering) Cherie Ann Hurt.
(applause) Audrey Ross.
(applause, cheering) Catherine Ellison.
(applause) Ashley Nichole Rodriguez.
(applause, cheering) Heather L. Gallapoo.
(applause, cheering) Jacob R. Urlaub.
(applause, cheering) Adonia Rae Conrad.
(applause) Zandrea M. Szczepaniuk.
(applause, cheering) Wendy Acevedo.
(applause) Tanaya Howland.
(applause, cheering) Michelle M. Hurd.
(applause, cheering) Melissa M. Newton.
(applause, cheering) Beverly Gonzalez.
(applause, cheering) Ariel Israel Sosa Jr.
(applause, cheering) Jeuris Santos.
(applause, cheering) Corea Parks.
(applause, cheering) Kalah Milad Amash.
(applause, cheering) Mackenzie Jo VanDerMei.
(applause, cheering) Tiffany J. Peless.
(applause) Katelynn Star Phillips.
(applause, cheering) Facundo Santome.
(applause, cheering) Ariana Hernandez.
(applause, cheering) (audience laughing) Michael Peoples.
(applause, cheering) Solomon Leroy Gant.
(applause, cheering) Patrick J. Streyle.
(applause, cheering) Nicoletta Jensen.
(applause, cheering) Nemesis Maria Figuereo.
(applause, cheering) Brittany T. Lacy.
(applause, cheering) Angela E. Goodin.
(applause, cheering) Melissa Redner.
(applause, cheering) Kelli J. Siereveld. Nadia EvaMaria Madlij.
(applause, cheering) Ashley Lauren Walker. Jonathan Leisher.
(applause, cheering) Maria Lynn Bosker.
(applause, cheering) Jonathan David Lopez.
(applause, cheering) Jacquelyn Marie Zeman.
(applause, cheering) Javon Lee Sanders.
(applause, cheering) Kaylee S. Devrou.
(applause, cheering) Sarah May Clymer.
(applause, cheering) Dereck Merlos.
(applause, cheering) Kaytlyn Ryan Danko.
(applause, cheering) Derrick Duemler.
(applause, cheering) Joyce E. Barnes.
(applause) Kailey Keenan.
(applause) Kristina M. Gonzalez.
(applause, cheering) Asia Jonae Tolliver.
(applause, cheering) Cynthia Marie Cantu.
(applause, cheering) Amber Rayne Bouwkamp-Jones.
(applause, cheering) Elizabeth Ann Johnson. Austin Daniel Kamp.
(applause, cheering) Hannah Marie Menninga.
(applause, cheering) Justine M. Hernandez. Nyamwiza Aline.
(applause) Cheryl Diane Smith.
(applause, cheering) Taylor D. Axdorff.
(applause, cheering) Nicole Mari Wiersma.
(applause, cheering) Harmony N. Nguyen.
(applause, cheering) Noreen Marie Cerrone.
(applause, cheering) Samantha Fricke.
(applause, cheering) Tara Mariah Bowman.
(applause, cheering) Jacalyn Rae Cordero.
(applause, cheering) Alex Baar.
(applause, cheering) Natalie Siebers.
(applause, cheering) James C. Atem.
(applause, cheering) Brenda Kupris Cary.
(applause) Eamon Vincent Kupris Cary.
(applause) Brooke Nicole Davis.
(applause) Illiana Garcia Morales.
(applause) Francisco Javier Escalera.
(applause, cheering) Alexandra Elizabeth West.
(applause, cheering) Joshua S. Siwy.
(applause, cheering) Rachael Barman.
(applause) Brandi C. Thomas.
(applause) Robyn Schwarzwaelder-Cook.
(applause) Amber Rose Bailey.
(applause, cheering) Autumn Gene Scott.
(applause) Ellen L. Hansen.
(applause, cheering) Alexander James Sullivan.
(applause, cheering) Haleigh Elizabeth Sullivan.
(applause, cheering) Matthew John Hamby.
(applause, cheering) Frances Reed Birdsall.
(applause, cheering) Dawn Sharon Lewis.
(applause) Autumn Marie Traylor.
(applause, cheering) Christine Ingabire.
(applause, cheering) Eric Schuemann.
(applause, cheering) Micah Lee Multani.
(applause, cheering) John T. Hunt.
(applause, cheering) Douglas Davis.
(applause, cheering) Echo-Lynn Ana Matson.
(applause, cheering) Daniel Joseph DeVries.
(applause) Juan L. Contreras.
(applause, cheering) Leslie Pacheco.
(applause, cheering) Eli Rodriguez-Torres. Forrest W. West.
(applause, cheering) Katelyn Rose Nolan.
(applause, cheering) Summer Lynn LeBel.
(applause, cheering) Matt Alan Korn.
(applause, cheering) Phuong Vu.
(applause, cheering) Ashley Daniels.
(applause) Jackie Lynn VanSingel.
(applause) Katesawn M. Marsh.
(applause) Nathanael Hernandez.
(applause, cheering) Jessica Lynn Blandford.
(applause, cheering) Amber J. Elve.
(applause, cheering) Thomas William Most.
(applause) Mesuur Juliet Iorkighir. Betsy Arlene Lake.
(applause) Paul Chittenden.
(applause, cheering) Elizabeth Grace Vanhouten.
(applause, cheering) Nicole R. Clark.
(applause, cheering) Austin G. Forest. Eustacio Roberto Uribe. Brandon G. Peplau.
(applause) Jalen B. Bibb.
(applause, cheering) Diane Mutete.
(applause, cheering) Jacob Ramos.
(applause, cheering) Colin Andrew Klug.
(applause, cheering) Monica Lynn Terrell.
(applause, cheering) Katherine Hendrick.
(applause, cheering) Matthew A. Grutter. Kyleigh Ann Jacobs.
(applause, cheering) Rhonda J. DeVries.
(applause) Ernesto Luis Rodriguez-Avila.
(applause, cheering) Narayan Khatiwoda.
(applause) Amanda Hasanovic.
(applause, cheering) Joseph L. Taylor, Jr.
(applause, cheering) Gabriel O. Armstead.
(applause, cheering) Heather Nicole Kanauz.
(applause, cheering) Kaitlin Rambadt.
(applause, cheering) Theresa N. Baker.
(applause, cheering) Jamal S. Ahmed.
(applause, cheering) Prince N. Gwion.
(applause, cheering) Arthur Youboty Gwion, Sr.
(applause, cheering) Tae’vosha Kylee R. Scrivens.
(applause, cheering) Destiny Anne Lazzari-Morgan.
(applause, cheering) Kelsey Chizmar.
(applause, cheering) Tequila M. Patton.
(applause, cheering) Hannah Ann Totten. Loraine Prado.
(applause, cheering) Viviana Quintino.
(applause, cheering) Jennifer Brannan Hoyas.
(applause, cheering) Susan Kimberly Lockwood.
(applause, cheering) Colton J. Westerling.
(applause, cheering) Christopher A. Patrick.
(applause) Devin Renee Garcia.
(applause, cheering) Dillon Gerald Roberts.
(applause, cheering) Robert Lee Cuba III.
(applause, cheering) Anna Mansfield.
(applause, cheering) Daniel James Dennis.
(applause, cheering) Kristy Plaska.
(applause, cheering) Brittney Williams.
(applause, cheering) Amelia Grace Eck.
(applause) Daniel Eggerding.
(applause, cheering) Colleen Klein.
(applause, cheering) Kaylee Jo Tchuente.
(applause, cheering) Crystal Juarez.
(applause, cheering) Sara Elizabeth Juarez.
(applause, cheering) Gabriela J. Diaz.
(applause, cheering) Mwazvita Chidzikwe.
(applause, cheering) Jessica Lynn Rios.
(applause, cheering) Rachael Velazquez.
(applause, cheering) Heather VanOrder.
(applause, cheering) Janae Sanders.
(applause, cheering) Angelica Susana Alvarado.
(applause, cheering) Kali Harper. Paul Wojcik.
(applause) Aaron T. Ozark.
(applause, cheering) Katherine Annette VandenBrook.
(applause, cheering) Priscilla Vasti Rubio.
(applause, cheering) Linda Mae Rivera.
(applause, cheering) Sara Rose Lawson.
(applause) Regina R. Caston.
(applause, cheering) Terra Resterhouse. Lauren Milligan.
(applause, cheering) Jordan Richard Little.
(applause, cheering) Samantha Jo Hilyard.
(applause, cheering) Kathy S. Carabellese.
(applause, cheering) Jacqueline Villegas. Zachary Baumgart.
(applause) Shanyne R. Van Strien.
(applause, cheering) Evan Lucas Christoffersen.
(applause, cheering) Chelsea Marie Molin.
(applause, cheering) Marissa K. Postler.
(applause, cheering) Rosalie Mae Baxter.
(applause, cheering) Joshua J. Doane.
(applause, cheering) (applause)>>Will the Marshal now
present the candidates who will be
graduated with an Associate of
Applied Arts and Sciences, Associate of Business, Associate of Nursing,
and certificates. Dr. Fiona Hert, Dean of the
School of Workforce Development, will present these
candidates this evening.>>Heather Lynn Stoppa.
(applause, cheering) Dannielle Backus.
(applause, cheering) Patrick Henry Dooling II.
(applause) Paul D. Shepherd. Michael Dennis Batey.
(applause) Carol Rottman.
(applause) Brittany Rose Peters.
(applause) Nathan Thomas Nauta.
(applause, cheering) Sundy T. Vargas.
(applause, cheering) Alexander Castro.
(applause, cheering) Joyce Ann Collins.
(applause, cheering) Corey Walcott.
(applause, cheering) Joseph John Brown.
(applause, cheering) Matthew Hofstee.
(applause) DeAnn Leah Frikken.
(applause) Mellisa Ruskey.
(applause, cheering) Miriam Flores.
(applause, cheering) Kenneth R. Adams.
(applause, cheering) Mason Andrew Butts.
(applause, cheering) Albert Noel Tchuente.
(applause, cheering) Simeon Shiebee Terwase.
(applause) Charissa Elmer.
(cheering) Joselina Gomez Lugo.
(applause, cheering) Aaron Anthony Strong.
(applause, cheering) Kyle Thomas Stalsonburg.
(cheering) Jacob Kirk Ferrin. Michael Gene Jones.
(applause, cheering) Trisha Heintzelman.
(cheering) Heaven Alexis Leankh.
(applause, cheering) Benjamin David Giese.
(applause, cheering) Manuel Uribe.
(applause, cheering) Renee Marie Ritzenhein.
(applause, cheering) Monika Olivia Leigh Steffens.
(applause, cheering) Travis A. Hayward.
(applause, cheering) Benjamin Michael-Erastus Hoag.
(applause, cheering) Dalton Lawrence Potgeter.
(applause, cheering) Carl Frederick Schultz.
(applause) Rebekah R. Radloff.
(applause, cheering) Brittany Alexandria Hall.
(applause) Joel Jason Striegle.
(applause, cheering) Ronald W. Potes.
(applause, cheering) Shonta’ MaShon Miller.
(applause, cheering) Staci M. Anderson.
(applause, cheering) Terri A. Harris.
(applause) Jon Austin Benson.
(applause, cheering) Laundrus John Coleman.
(applause, cheering) Ryan List.
(applause, cheering) Tawanda Michelle Lee. Caven Hunt.
(applause, cheering) Dionna Achelle Bracey.
(applause) Judy A. Kelley.
(applause, cheering) Kirt Navia.
(applause, cheering)>>Come back here.
(audience laughing) (all laughing)>>Samantha Spomer.
(applause) Cody R. Stewart.
(applause, cheering) Christopher Michael Chichester.
(applause, cheering) Elizabeth Ann Causley.
(applause, cheering) Deante Chavers-Roberts.
(applause, cheering) Itza V. Suarez.
(applause, cheering) Audra L. Hagy.
(applause) Suzanne Elaine Young.
(applause) Demargeo C. White.
(applause, cheering) Meagan E. Rossow.
(applause, cheering) Kellie A. Eavey.
(applause) Daniel Sean William Pumford.
(applause, cheering) Todd E. Matz.
(cheering) Evan Andrew Johnson.
(applause) Hannah Barker.
(applause, cheering) Karina Chantel Doornewerd.
(applause, cheering) Kenneth Warren Damon.
(applause, cheering) Rex J. Higginson.
(applause, cheering) Michael Lamar Buxton.
(applause, cheering) Thomas Anthony Kimbell.
(applause, cheering) Jennifer L. Amos.
(applause, cheering) Brenda R. Miller.
(applause, cheering) Kimberley R. Reis.
(applause) Joshua Tod Stone.
(applause, cheering) Ashley Nicole Miggins.
(applause, cheering) Pamela Rayne Chandler.
(applause) Jose Antonio Fabian-Leco.
(applause, cheering) Michael D. Brinningstaull.
(applause, cheering) Guadalupe Silva Gonzalez.
(applause) Samantha VanSingel.
(applause) Renee Michelle Diedering.
(applause, cheering) Mikayla LeeAnn Zeerip.
(applause, cheering) Lynn J. Stuart.
(applause) Angie Gamboa.
(applause, cheering) Benjamin Paul Roskam.
(applause, cheering) Sheri L. Drenth.
(applause, cheering) Michael Douglas Brown.
(applause, cheering) Romel O. Caylan. Laurie Alicia Turner.
(applause, cheering) Jevena Marie Stokes.
(applause, cheering) Kelly Porter.
(applause, cheering) Joanna Evelyene Gorney.
(applause, cheering) Myranda M. Jacobson.
(applause, cheering) Marissa Lynn Ferrier.
(applause, cheering) Kristene Holton.
(applause, cheering) Valerie Kay Barnes.
(applause, cheering) Mandi Maria Mahoney.
(applause, cheering) Holly Nicole Polcyn.
(applause, cheering) Aleah Jaylene Shook.
(applause, cheering) Emily Elizabeth Palmer.
(applause, cheering) Trisha M. Bowen.
(applause, cheering) Todd Moore.
(applause, cheering) Judy L. Randall.
(applause, cheering) Mona Beute.
(applause, cheering) Rhonda Lynn Pike.
(applause, cheering) Andrea Anne Holsey.
(applause) Stefanie Selby.
(applause) Corey Maureen Cooke.
(applause, cheering) Courtney Brooke Hulbert.
(applause, cheering) Keli Miller.
(applause, cheering) Kristen L. Pease.
(applause, cheering) Bailey Marie Smith.
(applause, cheering) Sarah E. Courtney.
(applause, cheering) Sarah Rose Virkstis.
(applause, cheering) Natashia L. Goodman.
(applause, cheering) Carla L. O’Connor.
(applause, cheering) James E. Ausema.
(applause, cheering) Janine L. Riley.
(applause, cheering) Tammy L. Hutson.
(applause, cheering) Julia L. Arends.
(applause, cheering) Elaine Gamalski.
(applause, cheering) Nicole M. Blain.
(applause, cheering) Ashley Jo Nickerson.
(applause, cheering) Sara J. Rainbolt.
(applause, cheering) Megan Reece.
(applause, cheering) Kristina V. Nang.
(applause, cheering) Joyce O. Egesa-Williams.
(applause) Terence Simmons.
(applause) Rebeca A. Pena.
(applause) Landers Mirely Guerrero.
(applause, cheering) Heidi K. Luokkanen.
(applause, cheering) Sherie Lynn Ringler.
(applause, cheering) Steanna Sherae Kilgore.
(applause, cheering) Tanya Strickland.
(applause, cheering) Shannon Lee Scurry.
(applause, cheering) Kevin M. VanderWulp.
(applause, cheering) Shonda Renee’ Hill.
(applause, cheering) Liberty Clark.
(applause, cheering) Travis J. Schader.
(applause) Aubrey Lynn Stuk.
(applause, cheering) Jamie Leigh Bouma.
(applause, cheering) Samantha Zwade.
(applause, cheering) Tera E. Jimenez.
(applause, cheering) Kalina F. Bannister.
(applause, cheering) Nerissa Elena Boland.
(applause, cheering) Darin Nicholls.
(applause, cheering) Patti Lorraine Rice.
(applause) Terri Lynn Baughman-Stephenson.
(applause) Stacia L. Montle.
(applause) Kristi Ann Brink.
(applause, cheering) Nicole Ann Wilcox.
(applause) Darryl Renee Malone.
(applause, cheering) Jarvis Karl Ewing.
(applause) Gloria Ann Davis.
(applause, cheering) David L. Parsons.
(applause) Kendra Victoria Sheard.
(applause, cheering) Michelle Rae Long.
(applause, cheering) Sarah Lynn Upton.
(applause, cheering) Edward Rozanski.
(applause, cheering) Randi Butkus.
(applause, cheering) Taelor S. Kangas.
(applause) Christopher M. Okeefe.
(applause, cheering) Ala Beers.
(applause, cheering) Nichole McWhinney.
(applause) Kerri Dubois.
(applause, cheering) Elizabeth Ariel Leigh.
(applause, cheering) Kaylee Lynn Latham.
(applause, cheering) Benjamin Mark Wheeler.
(applause) Amanda N. TerHorst.
(applause, cheering) Ayenis Barbara Rojas.
(applause) Charles Tobias.
(applause, cheering) Dale Lynne A. Tobias.
(applause, cheering) Maria M. Santana Polanco.
(applause, cheering) James R. Hernandez.
(applause, cheering) Micah Robert Harris.
(applause, cheering) Julie Beth Rainbolt.
(applause) Christina Mae McConnell.
(applause, cheering) Kenneth Martin Felix.
(applause) LaTisha Nicole Johnson.
(applause, cheering) Douglas Lemmon.
(applause) Ramona Denise Johnson.
(applause, cheering) Jana Katherine Jones.
(applause) Sergio A. Calderon.
(applause) Rachel Emily Black.
(applause) Veronica Groat.
(applause, cheering) Kathryn J. Wheeler.
(applause) Richelle Dunne.
(applause, cheering) Cena Nicole Chivis.
(applause, cheering) Mallory Fischer.
(applause, cheering) Meghan Lindsay Chipman.
(applause, cheering) Dolores J. Brunink.
(applause) Melissa Mae Rykse.
(applause, cheering) Sumayyah Waver.
(applause, cheering) Jeannie K. Gray.
(applause, cheering) Nancy Burns.
(applause, cheering) Ryan M. Somerville.
(applause, cheering) Keith Edward Czurak.
(applause, cheering) Cassandra Lynn Maile.
(applause) Devin M. Robeck.
(applause, cheering) Michael Raymond Kelly.
(applause) Joshua Robert Glowacki.
(applause, cheering) Richard Davis.
(applause, cheering) Sarah Diane Davis.
(applause, cheering) Bryon David Fields.
(applause) Felix R. Anderson.
(applause, cheering) Liliana Santiago.
(applause, cheering) Joseph M. A. Cauliflower.
(applause, cheering) Israel T. Siku.
(applause, cheering) Laura L. Boogaard.
(applause, cheering) Shalandra Anderson.
(applause) Celeste J. Koppenhofer.
(applause, cheering) Samuel Thomas Dykstra.
(applause, cheering) Gerald Jacob Johnson.
(applause, cheering) Franchesca M. Vidal.
(applause, cheering) Fredericka Den’e Brown.
(applause, cheering) Joshua Thomas Strait.
(applause, cheering) Richard C. Wiertalla.
(applause) Chassity Middleton.
(applause, cheering) Shannon Nicole Smythe.
(applause, cheering) Tracy A. Wiersma.
(applause, cheering) Laura Ailene Lenartz.
(applause, cheering) Katrina Lynn Thrasher.
(applause) Bernarda Miskovic.
(applause) Heather M. Anstey.
(applause) Sara J. Killman.
(applause) Peter J. Kalinowski.
(applause) Stacy J. Holtsclaw.
(applause, cheering) Madeline Rose Wiley.
(applause, cheering) Jonathan Michael Gritter.
(applause, cheering) Emmanuel Esparza.
(applause, cheering) Edith Rivera Gonzalez.
(applause, cheering) Bethany Marie Kalsbeek.
(applause, cheering) Cheryl Celestina Plaska.
(applause, cheering) Anthony McMillan.
(applause, cheering) Juan Carlos Garcia Dominguez.
(applause, cheering) Kwami Dessouassi.
(applause, cheering) Earl B. Scott.
(applause, cheering) Patricia Ansari.
(applause) Thomas Matthew Person Jr.
(applause, cheering) Micah James Wiersma.
(applause, cheering) Tanya L. Hall.
(applause, cheering) Christopher J. Nagle.
(applause, cheering) Margaret Della Sims.
(applause, cheering) Guernite Jean Wiltjer.
(applause, cheering) Carlos Negron Jr.
(applause, cheering) Flora Garcia.
(applause, cheering) Jessi Ramirez.
(applause, cheering) Juan Edmundo Puga.
(applause, cheering) Christina L. Karas.
(applause) Lisa Fosburg.
(applause, cheering) Samantha Lee Strang.
(applause, cheering) Kenneth Robert McIntyre.
(applause, cheering) Sheryl Ann Lossing.
(applause, cheering) Joshua D. Vanderwerf.
(applause, cheering) Rocky Van Zegeren.
(applause, cheering) Gordan Lozic.
(applause, cheering) Marlon Wilson.
(applause, cheering) Lori M. Zamora.
(applause, cheering) Ruben James Pena.
(applause, cheering) Ajla Velagic.
(applause, cheering) Senida Eglenovic.
(applause, cheering) Amy Lynn Ryke.
(applause, cheering) Jaime Nathon Cuevas.
(applause, cheering) Evan Michael Braedon.
(applause, cheering) Brittany Schott.
(applause, cheering) Monica Sue McLean.
(applause, cheering) LeCita Lynne Woods.
(applause, cheering) Bobbie Lynn Brown.
(applause, cheering) Holly Nicole Hernandez.
(applause, cheering) Angela Paige Collins.
(applause) Mary J. Duck.
(applause, cheering) Emily Weston.
(applause, cheering) Kristin A. Ream.
(applause, cheering) Anna Marquetta Jacobs.
(applause, cheering) Bert Bakker.
(applause) Samuel John Scholtens.
(applause, cheering) Xavier Santiago.
(applause, cheering) Alisha Miller.
(applause, cheering) William Jeffery Reiser.
(applause)>>Thank you for
pronouncing it right!>>(chuckling). (applause, cheering)>>President Ender, upon the
recommendation of the faculty of Grand Rapids
Community College, I am honored
and privileged to present the candidates
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.>>Thank you,
Provost Chesley. By virtue of the
authority vested in me as President of Grand Rapids
Community College, the Board
of Trustees, and 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. You may now shift your
tassel from right to left. (applause, cheering)
Ladies and gentlemen… (applause, cheering) I proudly present to you
the 2015 graduating class of Grand Rapids
Community College! (applause, cheering) This will be difficult,
but you may be seated! (scattered laughing) To close out
tonight’s ceremony, and to embark on
Grand Rapids Community
College’s next century, our student musicians are
debuting a new Alma Mater. This piece was created by music
professor Carol VanRandwyk and retired English
professor Walter Lockwood. Thank you to
both of them. This Alma Mater is a wonderful
100th-year anniversary gift and we are grateful
to both of you! (cheering) (orchestral music)>>(all 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)>>Well, it has been
a wonderful evening, but the time
has come to say, “Graduates, congratulations
on this important milestone.” We are so proud to
call you “GRCC alumni.” I want you all to have a
wonderful and safe night. Guests, if you would
please stay at your place until the platform officials,
faculty, and graduates recess. Thank you. (applause, cheering) (Vasilij Agapkin’s
“A Slavic Farewell”) (orchestral music,
with fanfare) (applause, cheering) (light guitar music)

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