Vermont Business Magazine The Community College of Vermont (CCV) held its graduation ceremony Saturday at Norwich University’s Shapiro Field House. More than 500 students from across the state received associate degrees. Students representing all 14 Vermont counties graduated along with students from 11 other states and 15 other countries. The youngest graduate was 17 and the oldest was 73. Also among the graduates were more than 60 veteran and military-connected students.
Jen Kimmich, CEO and co-founder of The Alchemist Brewery, delivered the keynote address. Governor Phil Scott also addressed the Class of 2018. CCV President Joyce Judy officiated.
Kimmich told the audience that her mother was one of CCV’s first graduates in the early 1970s. “Our journeys are not easy,” she said. “Every one of us here today had to work hard and start new chapters to get here. But, like my mother when she enrolled in her first class, and just like my husband John and I when we started our small business 16 years ago, each and every one of you made the decision to bet on yourselves. And, although your paths are all different, you chose to work hard, to keep working and to open every door.”
CCV-Middlebury graduate Trevor Farr was this year’s student speaker. He acknowledged that each of his classmates faced challenges on the way to their degree.
“There are graduates here today with learning disabilities, there are wives and moms raising kids, husbands and fathers attending college; more than likely there are graduates here today who are in their 60’s and 70’s. Not one person is more remarkable than the other—each and every one of you deserves to be where you are today,” he told classmates. Farr said greater opportunity at his workplace, Agri-Mark, Inc., and a desire to expand his knowledge motivated him to enroll at CCV.
Governor Scott congratulated graduates and encouraged them to stay active in Vermont communities. “Juggling work and class, being a parent first and a student second, finding the time to fit education into a life already full of responsibility—this is the type of effort, the type of opportunity, that makes me so proud of the Community College of Vermont,” he said. “All Vermonters deserve a path to meaningful employment, and I also hope that each and every one of you knows that Vermont needs you now more than ever.”
President Judy spoke about the power of community at CCV. “I’ve heard from many of you...that actively engaging with new ideas, and new people, fosters empowerment and a greater sense of community. What’s more, you have formed a bond with the learning community you helped create at CCV, and it has been instrumental in your success.”
She shared the stories of first generation, new American, and military veteran graduates, telling the class, “Each and every one of you brought a unique perspective to CCV. The degree you earn today represents the hard work you put into your exams and assignments. It also represents the hard work you put into stepping outside of your comfort zone, supporting one another, and creating a community. The basic ingredients that made your classes so vibrant are the same basic ingredients that will enrich your families, your neighborhoods and your workplaces.”
Several individuals were recognized during the ceremony for both academic accomplishments and community service.
Retired Vermont State Colleges System Board of Trustees Chair Martha O’Connor received the 2018 Community Service Award for her lifelong commitment to promoting education throughout the state.
CCV-Morrisville faculty member Greg Stefanski received the Faculty Service Award. Stefanski is executive director of Laraway Youth and Family Services and volunteers for several Lamoille County organizations.
CCV-Morrisville student Justin Bourdeau and CCV-Montpelier student Erin Christian received this year’s Student Service Awards. In addition, three students received Alumni Scholarships: Paige Mattson of CCV-Rutland, Brook Mecca of CCV-Winooski, and Jessica Vest of CCV-Montpelier.
CCV is Vermont’s second largest college, serving over 7,000 students each semester. With 12 locations and extensive online learning options, our students don’t have to travel far from their communities to access our degree and certificate programs, workforce, secondary and continuing education opportunities, and academic and veterans support services.
Source: CCV 6.2.2018