Butler Community College held its 91th annual commencement ceremony on May 12. This spring, Butler graduated almost 800 students.
“You can be proud that you are graduates of a college with more than a 90-year history of outstanding faculty, dedicated administrators and staff, and tremendous community and donor support,” said Kim Krull, Ph.D., president of Butler. “You have been part of a tradition of excellence both inside and outside the classroom.”
The keynote speaker was Brian Black of Spirit AeroSystems. Black’s presentation was empowering, holding the audience in the palm of his hands.
“You stand on the shoulders of many. These individuals are the drum keeper of the dreamer. And you are the dream of the dreamer,” Black said. “You are the ones who dared to dream that you could go to college and achieve greatness. You are the ones who dared to dream that one day you would be sitting at this very moment receiving your degree. You are the ones who dared to dream.”
Black told the graduates to continue to beat their drums throughout their lives.
“Because without the beating of the drum of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, none of us would be here today,” Black said. “Beat your drum loudly. You must beat your drum for the future dreamers that will come to Butler.”
During the ceremony, Butler alumnus, Dr. Greg Joyce, presented the Hubbard Award of Excellence to Kaylee Farmer of Missouri. Farmer will use the $15,000 scholarship toward her bachelor’s degree in animal science at Kansas State University. Farmer was a part of Butler’s number one nationally ranked livestock judging team. Farmer served as this year’s president of the Ag Ambassadors and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Her long term plans are to become an attorney and advocate for agriculture.
The Hubbard Award of Excellence is the highest honor a graduating student may receive. In 1985, Butler alumnus R.D. Hubbard and his wife Joan Dale dedicated a scholarship to recognize and encourage academic excellence at Butler. Both Hubbard’s are Kansas natives and former teachers.
Runners up for the Hubbard Award, who each received a $500 scholarship, were Maggie Maloney, Kenzie Kretzmeier and Lauren Jackson. Maloney of Wichita, Kan., plans to attend the University of Colorado – Boulder and major in accounting. Kretzmeier of Fowler, Ind. is transferring to Kansas State University and majoring in Agri-business. She was also on Butler’s judging team and was named Academic All-American judge. The third finalist for the Hubbard Award, Jackson of Douglass, Kan., graduated from Butler’s Early College Health Science Academy this spring and plans to head to Kansas State and major in biology. She hopes to one day become a physician.
Butler Community College, with nearly 10,000 students, is the second largest community college in the state. It offers nearly 85 degree programs and 30 professional certification programs. The college’s main campus is in El Dorado, but it has centers in five other communities. For more information about Butler, visit www.butlercc.edu, on Facebook and Twitter (@butlercc).