Bittersweet memories: MCC celebrates graduation

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:24 am on Monday, May 06, 2013

Alexis Brayton graduated on Friday from Montcalm Community College (MCC). After she walked across the stage at Central Montcalm High School, she was presented with a pin by Beth Mowatt, MCC director of nursing.

SIDNEY — Semesters that started with dual enrollment at Montcalm Community College (MCC) during Alexis Brayton’s high school career, and continued for another three-and-half years of classes during her college career, ended Friday night as she was able to walk across the stage and receive her college diploma.

Brayton, 21, of Stanton, graduated with high honors with an associate’s degree in applied science and a nursing certificate from MCC, Friday.

“I’m excited,” Brayton said.

Reflecting over her college career at MCC, Brayton said she had a good time and made a lot of life-long friendships.

“I had a ton of fun and (gained) a lot of experience,” she said. “I am going to miss it and miss the people.”

Now that she is graduated, Brayton plans to stay at her current job, but hopes to possibly transition into an RN role or pursue a nurse practitioner career.

Brayton was one of about 300 students who graduated Friday.

The commencement ceremony began at 7 p.m. and was held at the Central Montcalm High School in Sidney.

Dr. Scott Koenigsknecht, superintendent of the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District, delivered the commencement address to the students.

Through his address, he shared stories, life experiences and words of wisdom for the students who walked.

“Things are not always as they seem,” Koenigsknecht said, making that his main point for the night. “Life, until this point, has been pretty predictable — the ‘real world’ is not as predictable.”

He told the students life doesn’t have guarantees and they have to work to get where they want to be.

Koenigsknecht also reminded the students, as they look ahead to their futures, to always remember their past, as well.

“If you don’t remember where you came from, you’ll never know where you are going,” he said.

The presentation of graduates was performed by MCC Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Spohr as each graduate walked across the stage.

MCC President Robert Ferrentino gave the closing remarks, encouraging the students with inspiration for the future.

“Best of wishes for the future, wherever that may take you,” Ferrentino said. “Good luck.”

During the ceremony, MCC announced the recipients of the Leslie K. Morford Faculty Recognition Award and the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award.

Receiving the faculty recognition was Robert Campbell who was a longtime MCC business administration instructor that died in September. Accepting the award on his behalf was his family.

Receiving the adjunct award was MCC faculty member Kenneth Parker.

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