By Valerie Morris

More than 560 graduates participated in the commencement ceremony May 5 in the LCCC field house, receiving degrees ranging from one-year certifications to Masters degrees through the University Partnership.  The field house was filled with graduates, faculty, friends and family to mark the occasion. As Dr. Roy Church, president of LCCC, welcomed those in attendance, he recognized the students who were receiving more than one degree.

“We have 144 more degrees than we have graduates,” said Church. “As you sit before me, I know that your degree is hard-earned and well-deserved.” He went on to congratulate those students receiving multiple degrees for their hard work and perseverance. Of the students to receive more than one degree, one student earned five degrees, one student earned four and 14 students earned three degrees. Church’s words were met with cheers and applause from the large crowd of guests.  In addition, Church recognized the fifth class of Early College High School students to graduate from LCCC. Of the 66 students in the program, 56 received their associate’s degrees at the ceremony.

Senior Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise Development Gary Cates was the keynote speaker for the ceremony. Cates described his attendance at commencement as a ‘trip worth making.’

“Not only are you doing something to benefit yourself, but everyone here will benefit from your hard work and perseverance,” said Cates. “Dr. Church says the board [of trustees] isn’t getting compensated; I beg to differ. This is their compensation.” Cates went on to speak about the importance of shifting focus from enrollment to completion, a shift he saw reflected in the large number of graduates.