Butler Community College celebrates first of two commencement ceremonies
On Saturday morning, Butler Community College celebrated the first of its two commencement ceremonies, celebrating student graduates. With the gymnasium packed with students' friends and family members, Butler President Dr. Kim Krull began the celebration.
"Graduates, in just a few moments you will become the focus of our undivided attention, as you should be," she began. "But, I know you realize that you did not achieve this milestone without the support and assistance of some key people and we would like to recognize those who have helped you on your journey thus far.”
She encouraged the students to point out their families in the crowd and thank them for their support before moving on. She also recognized the faculty.
“There is another group of individuals here today that have a large hand in your success. Leading…sometimes prodding or pushing…and often encouraging and cheering you on, this extraordinary group of educators has provided you with exceptional, one-of-a-kind learning experiences designed to expand your minds and spirits. They truly are unrivaled, not only for their knowledge and expertise, but also for their caring. They are the heartbeat of Butler."
She went on to formally recognize the graduates.
"On behalf of all at Butler, we want you to know that it has been our honor to have you as our students. Collectively and individually, you have created another great chapter in the history of Butler and certainly you have captured our hearts and blessed our lives. As you prepare to move on to new jobs, continuing education or whatever the next chapters hold for you, take a minute to reflect on your pathway to this point in your lives and be proud of all you’ve accomplished! Then, without missing a beat, look forward and set your next goals and think about this:
Henry David Thoreau said 'What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
Krull introduced Butler Trustee Chair Jim Howell.
"On behalf of the Butler Community College Board of Trustees, I'm privileged to extend our warmest welcome and heartiest congratulations to today’s graduates and their families," he said. "My fellow board members and I join Dr. Krull in expressing strong confidence that you, our 2016 graduates, are well-equipped with the knowledge and skills you need to be successful at the next level."
Fellow Trustee Eileen Dreiling introduced featured speaker Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, president and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa.
"Essentially today is the day that we have all been working towards," she began. "We've been working hard. I estimated, between these two graduation ceremonies, that you have accomplished 50,000 credit hours to be in the seats you're in today. You have not done it alone. It takes an entire community of people to make this happen."
She went on to highlight the staff of the financial aid office, campus security and others indirectly involved with the students' educations.
"Completing community college is not easy," Tincher-Ladner went on. "You've put in the work, you've persisted and you have balanced the demands of your lives. I used to tell my math students 'There is no way you're going to accidentally get a math problem correct.' You've done that. The reality is, not everyone makes it. Community colleges are open access. People are working in the admissions office to make it as easy as possible for you to become a student. The cores you have to take for your degree are very rigorous. They're just as rigorous as any other university or four-year school in the entire country. Your degree has value."
She also spoke of how the typical commencement speech is composed, noting that they are divided into two parts: a congratulations and a piece of advice.
"I do have a few tidbits that got me to this role in my life," she said. "When you go to work, do the job task that no one wants to do. That will really help you. It'll get you noticed. Yes, they're difficult. When there are cutbacks, it may get you not noticed.
“Sometimes, you're going to have to move jobs to move up. That was really hard for me. I thought that if I sat and I worked really hard, I would get noticed and promoted. It's not that way. Sometimes, your employer will have you in the seat on the bus that you belong in. You might have to find a different seat.
“Know what your employer values. At Phi Theta Kappa, I have something I value in people: it's called initiative. Everyone that works for me I value initiative and creativity even above skill and ability. I have had bosses and supervisors that valued my skills and ability more than my creativity. You have to know what your boss wants and tune into that.
“Men do a much better job at telling their bosses where they want to go, what they think they're worth and females don't do this quite as well. Always value yourself and let it be known what your goals are."
She then offered her final piece of advice to the students.
"Be the person that people like seeing walk into a room–not the person leaving it," she said. "Education is very important, but it is not the most important thing. You have to be kind to one another if you're going to be successful in life.
“It seems like graduations are going to be the end of something, but they're actually the beginning. Take what you've learned here at Butler and get yourselves to the next step, but remember that whatever you do, your first step was here at Butler."
In addition to the diplomas, several additional award winners were also recognized. They were: Bryce Adams, Huey Award; Rachael Buzanowski, Winnie Broers Scholarship; Melinda Masterson, the Helen Teter Zebold Science Award and Nolan Nez received the Frank H. Cron History Award.