READY FOR LAUNCH: Moraine Park Class of 2017 looks forward

Within a profound scene of smiles, laughter, joyful tears and dreams come true, Moraine Park Technical College hosted its 2017 Commencement Ceremony in the Fond du Lac High School Field House on Saturday, May 20.

Nearly 350 graduates took part in the event. In all, the Class of 2017 had nearly 800 graduate candidates complete their studies to receive associate of applied science degrees and technical diplomas.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Morna Foy, impressed upon graduates the need to enjoy the moment, but also look to the future.

“You have definitely arrived at an important milestone, and you’re to be recognized and celebrated for that. That’s why we’re together. But I’d offer that there’s now much more to be done,” Moy said. “Think of it this way: You’re like a coiled spring, or a sling-shot pulled back. You’re ready for launch. That’s what scientists call “potential energy.” It’s the energy an object has because of its position, rather than its motion.

“You’re now in position.”

Foy is president of the Wisconsin Technical College System and the first woman to serve in this role in the 100-year history of the organization.

(NOTE: Here’s more than 200 photos from the event)

Madison Johannes, a Human Resources student and Moraine Park’s Wisconsin Technical College System 2016-17 District Student Ambassador, was the featured student speaker at the event. She, too, encouraged graduates to savor the moment, but also be eager to keep learning and take chances moving forward.

“Find the meaning in every challenge and every victory. Don’t be afraid to fail because you never know where you will end up next. Make sure to take time to laugh and relax, cherish everyone who comes into your lives,” Johannes said.

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. Kristen Finnel, 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 Miller, Vice Chairperson Mike Staral and Employer Member Bur Zeratsky recognized the graduates.

Miller, who welcomed the Class of 2017 and their guests to the ceremony, expressed to the graduates how perseverance, determination and the support of others had gotten them to this point. “This is also a time to celebrate your successes and forget your failures, because together they have gotten you where you are today – earning your degree or technical diploma.”

President Baerwald extended her congratulations to the graduates and wished each of them success in the great opportunities and ever-changing possibilities ahead.

“Today, you join many graduates of Moraine Park Technical College who have been successful in their own unique way. Our graduates are the future to a highly-trained workforce and economic growth, not only in the communities served by Moraine Park, but statewide,” Baerwald said.

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, Wis., Moraine Park 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 is also offered. Learn more at

As a reminder, more photos from the 2017 Commencement Ceremony will be available on Monday, May 22. Visit to see more photos.

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