May 22 was a momentous day for the Moraine Park graduates who participated in the College’s limited access in-person commencement ceremony, held at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Fond du Lac. In total, Moraine Park had over 800 graduate candidates eligible to receive an Associate of Applied Science degree or technical diploma.
President Bonnie Baerwald presided over the ceremony and extended her congratulations to the graduates and gratitude to the commencement speakers, Moraine Park District Board, Moraine Park faculty, and the President’s Cabinet.
“We are gathered to honor the students of the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021. Those students whose desire for learning and aspirations for a better life led them to enroll at Moraine Park Technical College,” Baerwald said. “For more than a year, the pandemic has disrupted our lives and eliminated or altered the way we live, socialize, celebrate, work and learn. Despite all those challenges, you have succeeded! Today, we recognize and celebrate your perseverance and dedication. Today, we celebrate you!”
Becky Glewen, Mayor for the City of Beaver Dam served as the keynote speaker. Haley Van Raden, Moraine Park’s 2020-21 District Student Ambassador was the student speaker, and Steve Peterson, a 1969 Moraine Park alumnus and the 2021 Distinguished Alumnus award recipient served as the alumni speaker.
Dr. James Eden, vice president of Academic Affairs, presided over the presentation of candidates and President Baerwald conferred degrees and diplomas. Graduate candidates were announced by Brenda Raad, dean of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Fred Rice, dean of Applied Technology and Trades.
Moraine Park District Board members in attendance were Bur Zaratsky, chairperson; Candy Fields, secretary; and Renee Almeida, employee member.
“It was wonderful to have an in-person ceremony,” Eden said. “While it looked different, the peer support was palpable. The strength and courage the students demonstrated in their academic studies carried through to the commencement ceremony. These graduates are all shining examples of what it means to be part of the Moraine Park family. Congratulations to the classes of 2020 and 2021!”
To view photos from the 2021 Commencement Ceremony, visit facebook.com/moraineparktech.