Middlesex Community College held its 45th graduation ceremony on May 31, presenting associate degrees or certificates in the arts and sciences to 328 students. MxCC also announced Emily O’Brien of Middletown as the class valedictorian, the first time the school has recognized this honor. A recording of the ceremony can be found at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/22987156.
Jordan Watson, a former MxCC student, opened the ceremony by singing the National Anthem. Dr. Anna Wasescha presided over commencement, which was the first in her role as MxCC president. She began by thanking active members of the armed services who were in attendance, and asking them to stand. She then asked members of the Reserves, National Guard, veterans, and family members of those in the armed services to stand and be recognized, creating a poignant visual reminder of how so many in the community work and sacrifice to help preserve our democracy.
Dr. Wasescha then turned her attention to the graduates. “I feel so privileged to conferred degrees on you as you reach this major milestone, complete this important rite of passage, and begin a new phase of your life,” she said. On the MxCC website, she reminded students that “they always have a place here at Middlesex, and are welcome back anytime.”
Connecticut State Representative Phil Miller (D-36th District) delivered the commencement address, telling students they should be inspired by their progress. He told students this day was about where they are headed, and noted that MxCC helped equip them with the skills and knowledge to think, reason, and achieve.
Dean Steve Minkler presented MxCC’s first-ever valedictorian to Emily H. O’Brien of Middletown who earned a perfect 4.0 in all of her classes. Dean Minkler was joined by Adrienne Maslin, interim Dean of Academic Affairs, to present four Board of Trustees’ Medallions for Academic Excellence to students who have achieved 4.0 grade point average and earned 50 percent of all credits at MxCC. Recipients were:
· Susan Bukowski of Clinton, Fine Arts Major
· Susan Van Ness of Middletown, Multimedia Major
· Jennifer Pittman of Ivoryton, Fine Arts Major
· Emily O’Brien of Middletown, Science and General Studies Major
MxCC Foundation Chairperson George Eames presented two Pritchett-Taylor Scholarship Awards, which honors those graduates with the highest cumulative GPA:
· Emily O’Brien of Middletown
· Susan M. Van Ness of Middletown
Founded in 1966, Middlesex Community College (mxcc.edu) is part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents for Higher Education. The school offers more than 50 degree or certificate programs at its three locations: the main, 38-acre campus in Middletown, the downtown Meriden Center, and the shoreline in Old Saybrook. The college promotes understanding, learning, ethics, and self-discipline by encouraging critical thinking. Current enrollment exceeds 2,875 full and part-time students, and 1,600 continuing education students.