On Saturday, June 4, Greenfield Community College honored the class of 2022 at its 59th Commencement Ceremony, where it conferred Certificates and Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees.
GCC Interim President Richard Hopper opened the ceremony. Other speakers during the ceremony included retired communications faculty Kimberley Morin and student speaker Julia Stahnke—who was joined by her 5-year-old daughter, Rosemary.
“Today’s graduates are entering this moment in history with credentials that make them better equipped to revive the economy, care for the sick, and build the new world. Your accomplishments at GCC have helped you to develop specialized skills and insights that will move us all forward,” Hopper said. “Your graduation at this moment in history offers us hopefulness. You will be better able to help our society heal by turning our fragility and uncertainty into progress.”
“To the great Class of 2022, we are very proud of each of you,” he said.
Student speaker Stahnke, whose daughter joined her on stage while happily carrying a pride flag, provided an inspiring message to her fellow graduates during her speech, discussing the challenges everyone faced during COVID-19 and beyond.
“I remember the countless virtual classes, meetings, and tutoring sessions in which this sweet girl played quietly and patiently beside me waiting for her mama to be done with her schoolwork because the pandemic meant we lost all childcare. So, it only seemed fitting that she would join me here today” Stahnke said.
“And I’m certain every one of you graduating today can relate. Many of us started our journeys into higher education in the midst of uncertainty. And for many of us, our plans for our education were derailed or shifted significantly. But we are all here today as overcomers. So, because you’ve persevered through all of the challenges of the last couple years, give yourselves a round of applause,” Stahnke added.
Stahnke completed her degree in Liberal Arts and is transferring to Smith College for women and gender studies and was named an Ada Comstock Scholar at the institution.
Morin, a faculty member at GCC for nearly three decades, also gave an inspiring speech for students. Morin praised the drive and passion of the students graduating, and applauded them for standing up to the many challenges facing them even past the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You are facing radical and ethnic divides that may be closed,” Morin said. “Social injustices that must be stopped.
GCC awarded 246 degrees and certificates for the 2021-22 academic year.
Find the Class of 2022 graduates list here.
Find the commencement awards list here.