In the News | ‘Many of us came to Three Rivers to change our lives’
Norwich, CT (Norwich Bulletin, May 25, 2017) — Courses at Three Rivers Community College allowed graduates like Class of 2017 salutatorian Hannah Walsh the rare opportunity to explore their interests and the freedom to decide what path their lives will take.“Many of us came to Three Rivers to change our lives by changing ourselves,” Walsh told her classmates on Wednesday at the school’s 25th annual commencement. “We have succeeded in that today and have acquired new titles as graduates.”
Diplomas were given to 303 graduates at Wednesday’s commencement.
Keynote speaker Jose B. Gonzalez told the class to “run from the language of hate,” that some consider a strength, and to remember a line found in “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “A Raisin in the Sun.”
“There is always something left to love,” he said. “In your next math class, if you’re going to tell your professor that you hate decimals, as if decimals have ever done anything to you, tell her how you love pi. Everyone loves pi.”
Gonzalez, an author and El Salvador native, is a professor of English at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and taught at Three Rivers from 1993 to 1999. He said his visit Wednesday was like a homecoming.
“This is a college where I taught students who were as talented, as driven and as hardworking as any other students I’ve ever met,” he said.
Three Rivers President Mary Ellen Jukoski said each of the more than 500 total graduates of the class has their own unique story.
One family – James Rickard, wife Susan and son Charles – didn’t plan to graduate together. But all received their general studies degrees Wednesday night. Graduate Tom Baudro, age 72, earned a degree in technology studies, after previously earning three certificates at Three Rivers.
“Three Rivers is an amazing community of learners,” Jukoski said. “Celebrate your accomplishments and the promise of a bright future.”
— By Ryan Blessing
The original Norwich Bulletin article can be found here: ‘Many of us came to Three Rivers to change our lives’