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

The scene outside Municipal Auditorium after the 2017 MCC commencement program (Photo by Tim Engle/MCC)

Metropolitan Community College’s 2018 commencement exercises will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Municipal Auditorium downtown (301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, MO 64105). More than 900 students are expected to “walk,” and with family and friends on hand, total attendance should exceed 4,000.

This year, more than 2,500 MCC students applied to graduate, a number that includes Fall 2017 grads. [ Every grad has a story: Here are just a few of them ]

JOIN US ON SOCIAL: The ceremony will stream live on MCC’s main Facebook account (and be available for later viewing as well). Follow MCC on Twitter for news, pictures and video (#MCCGrads2018) throughout Commencement Day.


An MCC alumnus and a graduating student will be the featured speakers:

Charlie Shields is CEO of Truman Medical Centers and president of the Missouri Board of Education. He also is a previous member of the MCC Foundation Board of Directors. Shields served 20 years in the Missouri General Assembly, both in the House of Representatives and the Senate, where he was president pro tem for two years. He is a 1979 graduate of MCC-Longview in Lee’s Summit.




Justin Kelleher will be graduating with an MCC associate in computer science degree. He is an early college student — three days before MCC commencement, he will graduate from Lee’s Summit North High School. Kelleher is enrolled in the Missouri Innovation Campus, a partnership of MCC, Lee’s Summit R-7 Schools and the University of Central Missouri that includes paid internships at high-tech companies. Kelleher will graduate with his UCM bachelor’s degree two years from now and plans to work in software development.


This will be the first ceremony to feature a student speaker in the seven-year history of one unified commencement for all five MCC campuses.

MCC will confer a variety of associate degrees upon the Class of 2018 — including more than 1,500 associate in arts transfer degrees and more than 600 associate in applied science degrees — as well as about 500 career and technical certificates.

A total of 93 high school students are members of the MCC Class of 2018, earning associate degrees or certificates the same month they graduate from high school. Forty-seven of those are in the Early College Academy, a partnership of MCC-Penn Valley and Kansas City Public Schools. That program, launched in 2011, gives qualified, highly motivated high school juniors and seniors the chance to attend college full time on the MCC-Penn Valley campus. Its first graduating class, in 2013, numbered 16 students.

Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Beatty will emcee the MCC commencement ceremony, which will be her first. She became the College’s eighth chancellor last July.

Other MCC officials participating in the exercises include Dr. Carlos Peñaloza, vice chancellor for instruction and chief academic officer; Trent Skaggs, president of the Board of Trustees; and the presidents and deans of each campus.

As the names of participating graduates are announced, they will cross the stage to receive handshakes and their diplomas.

The ceremony will feature a color guard from Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop H, with the national anthem performed by the Metropolitan Chorale of Kansas City, based at the MCC-Blue River campus.

Founded in 1915, Metropolitan Community College is Kansas City’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education.


MCC’s 2018 commencement ceremony starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 17, at Municipal Auditorium, 301 W. 13th St., Kansas City, MO 64105. Municipal occupies the block bounded by 13th, 14th, Wyandotte and Central streets. It is adjacent to Bartle Hall.

Doors open at 5 p.m. Admission is free; no tickets are required.

Professional photographers will be available both inside and outside Municipal from 5-6 p.m. In addition, photographers will take each graduate’s picture three times during the announcement of graduate names: once before students go on stage, once as they’re shaking hands with an MCC official on stage, and again as they exit the stage.

The graduate lineup for the processional begins at 6 p.m. on the Mezzanine level of the auditorium. Students will enter the arena by campus starting at 7 p.m.

Parking: The main underground parking lot across the street from Municipal Auditorium has space for 1,000 vehicles ($10). There are 10 other public or private parking lots in the area, with prices ranging from $8 to $12 per car.

ADA-accessible parking is available in Barney Allis Plaza garage on Level 2 at the south end. These parking spaces are near the tunnel that leads to Municipal Auditorium and the Convention Center. 

More information for students and guests