21. May 2012 03:56
More than 300 participate in centennial year commencement
There were only a handful of programs when Moraine Park Technical College’s first students walked through the doors in 1912. The Continuation Schools, as they were then called, had humble beginnings, with classes often held in the basements and attics of local businesses. On Saturday, May 19, the stage looked a little different than it did 100 years ago, as more than 300 members of the Moraine Park Class of 2012 gathered at Fond du Lac High School to cross the stage and receive diplomas from over 100 program areas.
“The early continuation schools underwent many changes before turning into the hub of innovative education Moraine Park is today. It is our inspiring students who have been the gears moving these changes along,” said Dr. Sheila Ruhland, Moraine Park president, who was presiding over her first commencement ceremony.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it,” is a famous quote by Peter Drucker that the Moraine Park Class of 2012 chose as their motto. Nine hundred thirty graduate candidates from Moraine Park Technical College’s Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac and West Bend campuses are that much closer to creating their own new futures. The candidates pursued 436 associate of applied science degrees, 351 technical diplomas and 116 apprenticeships/certificates.
Ruhland presented the degrees, diplomas and certificates with the assistance of Moraine Park District Board members Mike Miller, Shirley Kitchen, Vernon Jung and Jodine Deppisch.
“Commencement is a very significant event in our students’ lives,” said Ruhland. “On behalf of all of us at Moraine Park, I would like to extend our congratulations and best wishes to all of you. You should be very proud to have reached this milestone in your lives and the great opportunities that are ahead of you.”
Ruhland introduced keynote commencement speaker Steve Peterson, president and chief executive officer of Mid-States Aluminum Corporation, Fond du Lac, and 1969 Moraine Park Alumnus.
“This fine institution has been working very closely with local businesses to insure your curriculum was developed around their needs,” said Peterson. “I am confident you are now ready to make a significant contribution to the business you will join, or perhaps already work for. I sincerely hope you go from this place today knowing that you are well trained and capable of significantly influencing not only the business you will be a part of, but also your local community and society as a whole.”
To acknowledge Moraine Park’s 100-year anniversary, Moraine Park presented each participating graduate with a commemorative centennial medallion as a tribute to their educational achievement in Moraine Park’s Centennial year.
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 can be preordered for $5 and will be shipped 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. To learn more about Moraine Park’s Centennial celebration, visit morainepark.edu/100years.