MCC’s 2018 commencement ceremony in quotes and pictures

Metropolitan Community College’s Class of 2018 got a big sendoff complete with wise words and warm wishes May 17 at Municipal Auditorium. The 910 participating graduates heard their names announced as they walked across the commencement stage. All told, about 2,600 students applied for graduation in 2017-18.

Here’s a look back at the night in quotes and pictures. Click any photo to see it larger.

(Photo above by Jordan Williams/MCC; photos below by Wayne Gassmann)

“More than half of tonight’s graduates are in their 20s. One-quarter of them are over the age of 30. Think you’re too old to go to college or return to college? That’s not the case. These students prove otherwise.” | MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty, the evening’s emcee

“Students, I understand that your days involve more than rolling out of bed and going to class. Many of you hold down jobs, have families and children, and in general are juggling a lot of commitments. I get it! And the board gets it.” | Trent Skaggs, president of the MCC Board of Trustees

“When was the last time you shook up your routine? When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone? It’s so much easier to play it safe, but let’s all strive to never stop seeking that thrill of discomfort. Because only when we are uncomfortable do we know we are growing … and learning … and striving to reach our ultimate potential.” | Student speaker Justin Kelleher

“Many people ask why someone in health care, particularly a hospital CEO, spends so much time  thinking about education in Missouri. For me, health care and education are logically linked. And it goes like this: The No. 1 determinant of a person’s health status is their economic status. And the No. 1 determinant of their economic status is their level of education. … I get to see day in and day out the power and the impact of education.” | Keynote speaker and MCC alumnus Charlie Shields, president and CEO of Truman Medical Centers and president of the Missouri Board of Education

“We also want to take a moment tonight to recognize the MCC mascots. As a 103-year-old institution, we’ve had various mascots representing the College, the campuses and our sports teams over the years, from the Cubs to the Unicorns to, very briefly, the Slugs. Starting this fall, however, we’ll have one mascot to symbolize Metropolitan Community College as a whole and all of our sports teams (the MCC Wolves).” | Dr. Beatty

“Chancellor Beatty, I have the honor of presenting to you, for the conferring of degrees and certificates, the students of the Metropolitan Community College Graduating Class of 2018. They have diligently persisted in the pursuit of learning, which we recognize this evening. The College faculty join me in recommending them to you.” | Dr. Carlos Peñaloza, MCC vice chancellor of instruction and chief academic officer

“By virtue of the authority vested in me by the statutes of the state of Missouri and the policies of the Board of Trustees of Metropolitan Community College, I hereby confer upon each of you the appropriate degree for certification, with all attendant rights and privileges. Congratulations!” | Dr. Beatty

“Graduates, are you ready? Please stand. You may now move your tassels from the right to the left as a symbol of having earned your academic degree. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you … the 2018 Graduating Class of Metropolitan Community College!” | Dr. Beatty

Related: #MCCGrads2018: The list

Every grad has a story. Here are just a few from MCC’s Class of 2018

2,500+ are candidates for graduation; #MCCGrads2018 ceremony May 17

#MCCGrads2018: Student commencement speaker ready for ‘exciting night’