May 18 was a momentous day for the nearly 350 graduates who participated in Moraine Park Technical College’s commencement ceremony, held at the Fond du Lac High School Field House. In all, the College had nearly 800 graduate candidates eligible to receive their associate of applied science degrees and technical diplomas.
Rick Parks, CEO of Society Insurance served as the keynote speaker. He encouraged the new graduates to do something worthwhile, work with and for people that had earned their respect, be passionate about what they do, find ways to give back, and always be humble.
“If you live your life by working with people you respect, doing something worthwhile, and giving back, I can all but guarantee you will be successful,” Parks said. “That may be defined by financial gain and notoriety or perhaps it may simply be the respect offered to those that selflessly do good work. Regardless, you will be successful. When you reach this point, be humble.”
Aurelio Rosas, a three time Moraine Park graduate and current student in the Medical Office Specialist program was the featured student speaker at the event. Through telling his own story, he reminded everyone that it’s never too late to go after your dream career and that education is ageless.
“Your Moraine Park education is one of the best gifts you could have ever given to yourself,” Rosas said. “No matter where you go, or what you do, the knowledge that you have obtained can never be taken from you. After you leave here today, you will officially be a college graduate with a technical diploma or associates degree. You are now more attractive to prospective employers, and in many cases, you will have multiple options for your career path. Your degree is step one on a long career path.”
Dr. James Eden, vice president of Academic Affairs, presided over the presentation of candidates with the conferring of degrees and diplomas done by Moraine Park President Bonnie Baerwald. Brenda Raad, dean of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Fred Rice, dean of Applied Technology and Trades, announced the graduate candidates. From the Moraine Park District Board, Chairperson Mike Staral, Secretary Lowell Prill Employee Member Cindy Fields, Additional Member Cindy Laubenstein, and Elected Official Member Mike Schwab recognized the graduates.
Staral, who welcomed the Class of 2019 and their guests to the ceremony, congratulated the graduates and their families on their accomplishments and encouraged them to keep moving forward.
“This ceremony is symbolic in many ways,” Staral said. “It does mark the fulfillment of your commitment to earn a credential. It proves that the hard work, perseverance, and dedication has paid off. It does mean a lot to those who have supported you through this journey. They’re proud of you, and today is a celebration for them as well. This ceremony does not end your education. Moving forward in your career means constant learning and growing. Work hard, be open, and embrace this! You’ll be surprised where it will take you!”
Staral, also a 1978 Moraine Park alumnus, served as the alumni commencement speaker.
President Baerwald extended her congratulations to the graduates and extended her personal gratitude to the commencement speakers, Moraine Park District Board, Moraine Park faculty and the President’s Cabinet.
Moraine Park Technical College was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. With campuses in Beaver Dam, Fond du Lac, and West Bend, the College offers more than 100 associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships and certificates delivered in a variety of formats — classroom, online and blended. Training and technical assistance for businesses are also offered.
To learn more about Moraine Park, visit morainepark.edu.
To view more photos from the 2018 Commencement Ceremony, go to facebook.com/moraineparktech.