Degrees and Certificates Awarded at Three Rivers Community College Commencement
Friends and families packed the campus green to cheer on the Three Rivers Community College graduates at the 54th annual Commencement on Wednesday, May 22. 563 students earned a total of 517 associate degrees and 78 certificates. Five students earned two degrees, 26 earned both a degree and certificates, and one student earned a Medallion for Academic Excellence, which is achieved by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.
Frederick-Douglass Knowles II, Hartford Poet Laureate and associate professor at Three Rivers, reflected on his childhood, growing up across the street from where Three Rivers now stands as well as the impact his grandmother made on the community. He urged graduates to use their education to “cultivate your community.” He went on to say, “many of you will further your studies to obtain a bachelors, masters and Ph.D. in your field of expertise. Accumulate these tools to ensure that your community continues to thrive. It will be a demanding life-altering vision that some of you may be fearful of embracing, but how else will we Batman the Banes of our society. How else will we cure our country? Graduates, amalgamate the tools of higher learning with the higher frequency of love to teach this country how to no longer function in fear. Cultivate your community like it was your own Garden of Eden.”
Richard Balducci spoke on behalf of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education, stressing that students should be proud of their accomplishment, and that “you make the Board of Regents proud, you make the College proud, you make the state proud and you make the country proud.”
Addressing the graduates, President Mary Ellen Jukoski said, “This is your day to celebrate your commitment to learning, and your perseverance that make this day possible. … I hope that Three Rivers Community college has been a place that, having ignited your love of knowledge, will cause you to be a lifelong learner, a place that instilled in you the desire to strive for excellence academically, personally, and professionally, and, a place where the relationships you developed will lead to lasting friendships.” She also highlighted the stories of different graduates and the varied paths that brought them to the campus green that day.
The Valedictorian, Michelle Reynolds, who received the Medallion for Academic Excellence, delivered the Student Graduate Address. She thanked her fellow students for their support, saying, “the patience and humility of my fellow students, the encouragement of the professors and tutors, the sense of community you get as you stroll through the halls here, have all impacted me and all of us, in such a powerful way. It is because of all of you that I am here today. … Today, we’re all valedictorians.”
The Commencement Exercises also included a faculty address from Professor Michael Carta. William Stanley, Vice President of Development and Community Relations for L+M Hospital/Yale New Haven Health, received an honorary degree, and Lottie B. Scott, author and community activist, was awarded the Distinguished Community Service Award.
Students graduated from programs including Liberal Arts & Sciences, General Engineering Technology, Accounting, Visual Fine Arts, Nursing, Early Childhood Education, Hospitality Management, Nuclear Engineering Technology, Sports and Leisure Management, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Human Services.