More than 360 members of the Moraine Park Technical College Class of 2010 gathered at the Fond du Lac High School Field House on May 22, congratulating each other and themselves on the successful completion of a new education and the beginning of the next adventure.
A quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are small matters compared to what lies within us,” was the class motto adopted by the more than 1,180 graduate candidates from the Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses. The candidates pursued 472 associate of applied science degrees, 578 technical diplomas and 134 program certificates.
Moraine Park President Gayle Hytrek presided over the ceremony and presented the degrees, diplomas and certificates with the assistance of Moraine Park District Board members Philip Baranowski, treasurer, and Vernon Jung Jr., secretary.
“On behalf of all of us at Moraine Park Technical College, I would like to extend our congratulations and best wishes to all of you graduating today,” said Dr. Hytrek as she addressed the graduates and their families. “You should be very proud of yourselves for reaching this milestone in your lives. You have worked hard and sacrificed a great deal during the past year or years and there is a wonderful future in front of you.”
Each spring, a committee of students, staff and faculty select Moraine Park's Student of the Year Award recipient. This year’s winner, Amy Goebel of Fond du Lac, who is enrolled in the Marketing program, took the podium during commencement.
“I stand here before you today as the 2010 Student of the Year, but I am not the only student of the year – each and every one of you should be proud of what you have accomplished,” she told her fellow graduates. “We all worked hard and accomplished many things. We spent countless hours studying and in class. We encountered classes and projects that have seemed impossible, but we were able to pull it off. … we are here today and the hard work has paid off. There are many things that we can take from our days spent at Moraine Park Technical College. We have been given the tools to accomplish great things in life, but now we need to continue to apply them to what we encounter each and every day in our future, from here on out.”
Another award winner was introduced by Dan Ensalaco, vice president of academics and economic development. “Our Distinguished Alumni award recognizes individuals who serve as role models for all of us. They are individuals who did not just dream about educational and professional success – they worked hard and achieved it. In addition, they use their knowledge and talents to make a positive difference in our community. This year’s Distinguished Alumnus Award winner is no exception,” said Ensalaco as he presented Barbara Brown, RN, Nursing program instructor at Moraine Park.
At the podium, Brown told the audience, “I am a first-generation college graduate, and was guided by my instructors at Moraine Park who helped me overcome personal obstacles, one of which was my fear of making mistakes. I have since become aware of how making mistakes can help determine who you are and what your strengths are. … As we all know, life is not about being problem-free, but about figuring out how to deal with those problems. … we have to get over our fear of the unknown and start saying ‘yes’ to new challenges and opportunities that come our way.
“Thirty years ago, I never imagined I would be speaking to you, Moraine Park Technical College graduates, and accepting this award as Moraine Park’s Distinguished Alumnus,” continued Brown. “Now it is your turn to make a difference.”
The graduation processional was led by bagpiper Gina Crossley, with the ceremonial music performed by Brassination, a brass quintet from the Fond du Lac area. Shady Grove, also from the Fond du Lac area, provided the
pre-ceremonial music. A reception was held at the high school.
Commencement DVDs will be available for $5 in June. To preorder, stop by one of the campus bookstores. For more information or to check on availability, contact the bookstores at 920-887-4407 in Beaver Dam, 920-929-2105 in Fond du Lac and 262-335-5774 in West Bend.