On May 19, Norwalk Community College held its 54th Annual Commencement Exercises on the West Campus, behind the Center for Science Health and Wellness. A pipers band led a procession of the Class of 2016, faculty and staff members to the outdoor tent for the graduation ceremony, preceded by Professor Mary Frances Carmell as Grand Marshall, and Professor William O’Connell as Faculty Marshall. After the NCC Choir performed the National Anthem, NCC President David L. Levinson, Ph.D., welcomed the candidates. Greetings followed from Nicholas Donofrio, Chair of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities Board of Regents for Higher Education.
Mark Ojakian, President of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, presented the Distinguished Alumni Award to Matthew Quinones, Class of 2009. Dr. Levinson delivered his address, recognizing the generous contributions of $2.6 million from the NCC Foundation in the past year to support scholarships, faculty positions and fund other key college initiatives to promote student success.
Dean of Students Calvin J. McFadden, Sr., Ph.D., presented the student speakers, Ingrid Magalhaes and Mackenzie Raub (pictured), both Liberal Arts and Sciences majors and scholarship recipients. Magalhaes recounted her experiences of coming to the U.S. from Brazil at 22, overcoming various challenges and thanking the NCC community for its support. She was followed on the podium by Raub, who shared his own story of his father and brothers attending NCC previously, and the importance of being his own biggest fan.
Presidential Awards were presented to Evan MacGuffie and Matthew Papageorge, each of whom earned a 4.0 GPA. Mark Ojakian presented the Distinguished Service Award to Craig Glover, CEO at Norwalk Community Health Center. MacGuffie presented the 2016 Class gift to Dr. McFadden. Nicholas Donofrio presented honorary degrees to filmmakers Karen Thorsen and Douglas K. Dempsey. Immediately following the ceremony, a reception was held to honor the new graduates and their families in a hospitality tent behind the West Campus.