Muskegon Community College’s 90th Commencement exercises will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, 2018 in the L.C. Walker Arena, where 270 graduating students will participate in the ceremony. The event is free and open to the public.

MCC Class of 1972 graduate Dr. Pamela Smith, whose successful career in higher education, retail and health care management, and leading community organizations spans four decades and three states, is the 2018 MCC Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and will deliver the Commencement address.

Class of 2005 graduate David Takitaki, a member of the Political Science faculty at Ferris State University, will receive the MCC Alumni Achievement Award, an honor recognizing extraordinary professional achievement by and MCC graduate from the past 15 years

MCC students Elizabeth Robin Carpenter and Nicholas Heelan will deliver remarks on behalf of the Class of 2018.

Carpenter, who moved to West Michigan in the early 1980s, operated a home-based child care business for nine years and then worked in sales. When the store closed its doors, she acted upon a lifelong interest in theater and registered for a class at MCC. The College Prep 101 course opened her eyes to the possibilities of higher education. She has presented at the annual Global Awareness Festival and has been involved in nearly every theatrical production during her time as a student.

Undaunted by being labeled in elementary school as a special needs student, Heelan has applied an unflinching, can-do, work ethic to overcome the many obstacles that have stood between him and his pursuit of higher education. Growing up in Pullman, MI, he excelled at Saugatuck High School and was accepted into the South Ottawa County Early College Program. At Muskegon Community College, he has maintained a 4.0 GPA and was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

MCC President Dale K. Nesbary will give introductory and closing remarks. The invocation will be provided by MCC Board of Trustee member Rev. Ann Oakes of the Tabernacle Church of God. Donald Crandall, M.D., the chair of the MCC Board of Trustees, will offer the welcome and confer the degrees.

Jeanne Cooper-Kuiper, who is retiring after 15 years on the English Department faculty, will be the mace bearer and led the processional into and the recessional out of the arena. Interim Director of Nursing Chris E. Patterson will award the nursing pins. Irene Z. Church, a Business Department faculty member, will announce the Faculty Association Scholarships. Kimberly McElhaney, the Director of Perioperative Services at Mercy Health Muskegon – Trinity Health, will announce the Hadden Award winners.

Providing music will be the MCC Wind Ensemble directed by Daniel M. Meyers, the MCC College Singers directed by James Hylen, and the Muskegon Regional Pipes and Drums.

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