More than 330 participate in May 21 commencement
The field house was buzzing with excitement from graduates, admiration from family and friends, and support from faculty and staff, as more than 330 members of the Moraine Park Technical College Class of 2011 gathered at Fond du Lac High School on May 21 to celebrate commencement.
A quote by Albert Einstein, “Remember Yesterday, Live for Today, Dream for Tomorrow,” was the class motto adopted by the more than 1,193 graduate candidates from the Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses. The candidates pursued 477 associate of applied science degrees, 511 technical diplomas and 205 program certificates.
Moraine Park President Gayle Hytrek, who will retire from the college on June 30, presided over her final commencement ceremony and presented the degrees, diplomas and certificates with the assistance of Moraine Park District Board members Mike Miller and Jodine Deppisch.
“Commencement is a very significant event in our students’ lives,” said Hytrek as she addressed the graduates and their families. “On behalf of all of us at Moraine Park, I would like to extend our congratulations and best wishes to all of you graduating today. 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.”
Hytrek introduced Dr. James Sebert, superintendent of schools for the Fond du Lac School District, as the commencement speaker.
“As a proud advocate for education and member of the Fond du Lac community, it is a very personally rewarding activity to be with you here today to celebrate your academic excellence, your individual and collective growth, and your ongoing steps toward a lifelong journey of making a difference in the lives of others,” said Sebert.
Each spring, a committee of students, staff and faculty select Moraine Park's Student of the Year Award recipient. This year’s winner, John Lippold of Jackson, who graduated from the Graphic Communications program, took the podium during commencement.
“I often get asked, ‘If you could give one bit of advice to kids today, what would it be?’ That really is a difficult question,” said Lippold in his speech. “Would I tell them to work hard, study hard, be dedicated to whatever task they have chosen to become involved in? To listen? No, that would not be my advice to them. Instead of an answer, I would give them a challenge: What legacy will you leave?”
The 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Dr. Mark Wildman, deputy superintendent, Department of Corrections at Ethan Allen School in Wales, Wisc.
“Our Distinguished Alumni award recognizes individuals who serve as role models for all of us,” said Dr. James Eden, Moraine Park’s dean of instruction. “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.”
Each of us has the ability to be truly inspired,” said Wildman. “This may not always be easy at times but, no matter what program you graduated from, the ability to positively impact the lives of others will be real as you continue forward in your personal and professional lives.”
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.
Commencement DVDs will be available for $5 in June. For more information or to preorder contact the bookstores at 920-887-4407 in Beaver Dam, 920-929-2105 in Fond du Lac and 262-335-5774 in West Bend. For more information on Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.