Muskegon Community College’s 89th Commencement exercises will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 in the L.C. Walker Arena, where more than 240 graduating students will participate in the ceremony. The event is free and open to the public.
MCC Class of 1999 graduate Terri Tchorzynski, who was honored at the White House in January as the 2017 National Counselor of the Year, is this year’s MCC Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and will deliver the Commencement address. She is employed at the Calhoun Area Career Center in Battle Creek, MI. Class of 2007 graduate Rudy Bartels will receive the inaugural MCC Alumni Achievement Award. A climatology researcher at the Southern Regional Climate Center in Baton Rouge, LA, he has also worked with NASA and Homeland Security.
MCC students Eric Carballido and Gabe Cerchiori will deliver remarks on behalf of the Class of 2017.
The son of immigrants who stressed the importance of an education, Carballido, a Shelby High 2011 graduate, returned to MCC after a few years in the workforce. He took classes part-time and eventually full-time over the course of six years. At MCC, he discovered his love of geography and the guidance to help him pursue his career goal of being a city planner so that he can give back to the communities that have supported him in his lifetime. He plans to continue his studies at Western Michigan University.
Cerchiori, who graduated from Whitehall High School in 2008, re-enrolled at MCC in 2013 to pursue psychology to fulfill a career aspiration to serve others. While at MCC, he was influenced by a research class that led to a summer internship. He presented his scientific research at academic conferences in Nashville, TN, and Phoenix AZ. His improvisational acting class reinforced his beliefs in self exploration as a form of therapy. He plans to continue studying psychology at Ball State University.
MCC President Dale K. Nesbary, Ph.D., will give introductory and closing remarks. The invocation will be provided by MCC Board of Trustee member Rev. Ann Oakes of the Tabernacle Church of God. Donald Crandall, M.D., the chair of the MCC Board of Trustees, will offer the welcome and confer the degrees.
Daniel Knue, who has taught respiratory therapy since the academic program’s inception at MCC, is retiring after 24 years and will be the mace bearer leading the processional into the arena. Gregory Miller, who has taught computer networking, operating systems and security at MCC, is retiring after 18 years and will carry the mace during the closing recessional.
Director of Nursing Christina L. Donley will award the nursing pins. Kathleen Bates, the Faculty Association secretary, will announce the Faculty Association Scholarships. Kimberly A. Maguire, chief nursing officer and vice president of Patient Care Services at Mercy Health Partners, will announce the Hadden Award winners
Providing music will be the MCC Wind Ensemble directed by Daniel M. Meyers, the MCC College Singers directed by Thomas Clark, and the Muskegon Regional Pipes and Drums.