#MCCGrads2017, congratulations on a job well done (with social media pictures)

It was a night of selfies, funny-looking hats, cheers and shout-outs, pomp and circumstance. It was, of course, graduation.

MCC’s commencement celebration for its 102nd graduating class, May 17 at Municipal Auditorium, was also the last one to be presided over by Mark James, the College’s chancellor since 2010. That fact made the night “a bittersweet moment” for him.

“You and the seven classes before you have been my inspiration,” James said in his address to the grads.

MCC Chancellor Mark James

The chancellor joked that he’d only talk for “45 to 50 minutes, tops.” But his speech was actually a brief one, emphasizing that what may seem like a stopping point is really only a beginning.

“Like me, many of you are first-generation college students,” he told the grads. And, also like him, many have overcome obstacles and challenges, doubts and fears.

When James started his career as a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper, he thought he’d reached his finish line. But 39 years later — following three career changes, a return to college to earn a master’s degree, and nine relocations — he finds himself retiring not from the highway patrol but from a college chancellorship.

“As it turns out, my path was highly improbable and not one I could have seen or imagined,” he said.

The same is likely to be true for the #MCCGrads2017. “Tonight is not your ultimate finish line, either,” he said. Instead, it’s just the completion of “the first leg of a lifelong race.”

He urged the graduates to commit to lifelong learning; to focus on the mission ahead of them; to be honest. “And, most importantly, treat others as you want to be treated.  . . .

“Class of 2017, congratulations on a job well done. We at MCC salute you.”

[ Click here for a breakdown by campus of MCC’s 2017 graduates and degrees ]

Here’s a look at the evening as documented on social media. [ Click here for a gallery of more commencement pictures ]

#MCCGrads2017

Posted by Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City on Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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