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McHenry County College Recognizes Spring 2021 Graduates in Virtual Commencement Ceremony

McHenry County College (MCC) recognized 589 graduates and 29 high school equivalency graduates at its virtual commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15.

Of this group of graduates, more than 150 earned honors or high honors with a GPA of 3.50 or greater. The students represent 28 degrees and 40 certificates with Illinois General Education Core Curriculum Credential, Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Basic Nursing Assistant Certificate, Registered Nursing AAS, and Firefighter Basic Certificate programs producing the most graduates.

The ceremony included remarks from Dr. Gabbard, an alumni presentation from 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Ken Schmidt, several student testimonials, an overview of honors designations, and the presentation of degrees and certificates.

In his address to students, Schmidt offered some sage advice.

“Many of you are probably feeling the way that I did when I graduated from MCC 40 years ago,” he said. “A mixture of relief, a sense of pride, a bit of sadness that comes with realizing you may not see your friends as much anymore, and a little voice in the back of your head saying “What comes next?” But I hope you’ll think of what’s happening today this way—the diploma doesn’t signify the end of anything. It’s the golden ticket that will keep opening doors for you on your next adventure. The fact that you hold a degree from MCC means that you know what it takes to thrive and succeed. Nobody can question your ability or doubt your commitment to starting and finishing things and getting it done. Because you’ve already proven that you can do it.”

In the week leading up to graduation, students were encouraged to participate in a variety of activities including career workshops, e-portfolio assistance, Alumni Association signups, and fun photo sessions. Students were also invited to attend a drive-through reception at the College after the commencement ceremony, where MCC faculty, staff, and administrators waited with encouraging signs to celebrate the new graduates.

“We’re extremely proud to call these students graduates of MCC,” said Dr. Clint Gabbard, MCC President. “Earning a degree while working and juggling family responsibilities—not to mention navigating the uncharted territory of learning during a global pandemic—is a major achievement. We have no doubt these students are ready to go out into the world and conquer whatever comes next.”

The video will remain available for viewing at www.mchenry.edu/graduation until Saturday, May 22.