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SCCC Marks 48th Commencement

Joe Denoyer - May 9, 2019 10:36 am

by Rachel Coleman


The 48th annual commencement ceremony at Seward County Community College took place on a “nearly perfect” spring morning May 4, 2019, despite storm predictions. More than 350 candidates for graduation walked across the Greenhouse platform to the sound of cheers. Planned and implemented by SCCC Registrar Alaina Rice, the event unfolded smoothly and wrapped up in about an hour.

Rice credited coworkers for the seamless ceremony.

“I work with an amazing team of people who ensure that the day goes off without a hitch,” she said. “Each one of them helps make our ceremony successful. I am so fortunate to get to work with such a great group of people on this event every year.”

College president Dr. Ken Trzaska described the day as “one of the most exciting of the year for us all,” and congratulated students on reaching an important milestone.

Speaker Jonny Vergara, senior branch manager at Liberal’s Sunflower Bank, encouraged students to embrace learning — including mistakes — as a way of life. Vergara, the youngest person in his company reach senior branch manager status, started his education at SCCC, after graduating from Liberal High School in 2013.

After recognizing his own parents for their support, he encouraged the 2019 graduates to “think about the people who have helped you make it this far, and thank them.”

Dr. Todd Carter, SCCC’s vice president of academic affairs, recognized four team members who will retire this summer: financial aid director Donna Fisher, Saints Bookstore director Jerri Lynn Lyddon, advising coordinator Patsy Fischer, and English instructor and department chair Janice Northerns. He also introduced the 2019 Instructor of the Year, biology instructor Ty Hughbanks, and presented him the award.

“Ty has come and gone on our campus over the years, traveling and seeing the world, then coming back to teach our students,” Carter said. “And they appreciate him.” The Instructor of the Year award is determined through student votes.

Vice President of Student Services Celeste Donovan announced the winner of the 2019 Student of the Year award, Moises Alvarez. A Bridges-K-State research member, member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, student government member, Circle K member, HALO participant, and more, Alvarez will continue his pursuit of a psychology degree at K-State.

The ceremony also included an invocation by SCCC Professional Employees Association President Darrin Hook, benediction by SCCC Trustee Casey Mein, and was followed by a courtyard reception. Music and performance at the reception by Omawari Folkloric Ballet group acknowledged the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday celebrated by Liberal’s Mexican-American community.


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