Northwest State Community College celebrated the 2016 graduating class Tuesday at the first-ever fall commencement ceremony.
NSCC recognized 143 degree and/or certificate recipients from the divisions of Allied Health and Public Services, Arts and Sciences, Business Technologies, Nursing, and Math, Science and Engineering Technologies. A total of 59 students participated in the ceremony.
Dr. Thomas Stuckey, NSCC president, congratulated the graduates on their achievements, stating, “You have a new opportunity, and that is one of sharing, of giving back, of helping another climb the hill of success. Service to others is a definer of success.”
Anita Kennedy of Defiance was the student speaker. She received an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She delivered an emotionally powerful speech, encouraging all graduates to find true happiness in the journey that lies ahead.
“Happiness is being kind to others, not because it gets you something or puts someone in your debt, but because it is the right thing to do,” Kennedy said.
The keynote speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony was Jane Zachrich, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services at Community Memorial Hospital. Zachrich, an NSCC graduate, shared her passion for the graduates, and appreciation for Northwest State as an institution. She shared a speech of challenge and inspiration, encouraging graduates to emphasize quality care and service.
“The blessings that you give to your patients, your co-workers, your family and your customers will be returned to you ten-fold. You will have an incredible opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life every day that you go to work,” Zachrich said.
During the ceremony, 18 students were recognized as Award of Merit recipients. Award of Merit recipients are chosen by faculty from the respective divisions based on leadership involvement, special talents or abilities in their academic field, and significant contributions to Northwest State.