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Examiner
  • MCC-Blue River Class of 2013 graduates

  • As the graduates of MCC-Blue River lined up, preparing to make the walk into Municipal Auditorium, there was a feeling of relief and excitement in the air knowing that one part of their journey was over, and for many the start of the second half of their post-secondary education.

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  • As the graduates of MCC-Blue River lined up, preparing to make the walk into Municipal Auditorium, there was a feeling of relief and excitement in the air knowing that one part of their journey was over, and for many the start of the second half of their post-secondary education.
    The Metropolitan Community College system held its all-campus commencement Thursday at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City. This included graduates from Blue River, Longview, Maple Woods, Penn Valley and the Business and Technology Center, each walking in under their own banners. The all-campus ceremony was started last year as a way to unify the campuses.
    “This is very exciting because I am the first in my family to graduate from college,” said Autumn Isbell, Independence. “I chose Blue River because it was close to home, and it offered all of the classes that I needed to get an associate of arts. It has been a great place to study and definitely the right environment for me.”
    Peter deSilva, president and CEO of UMB Bank, gave the commencement address. DeSilva said graduation is a milestone the students have achieved because of hard work and dedication. He said, however, as they embark on their next journey, the world is full of uncertainty so they must continue to have a strong work ethic to achieve their goals.
    “What you do today, tomorrow and next week will prepare you for the challenges that are ahead,” he said. “It is not about where you start but about he course you set, and more importantly the rigor in which you choose to go with that course. If you work hard at something, the success will be all that much more enjoyable.”
    In addition to the honor graduates and members of Phi Theta Kappa, the community college honor society, were members of the Trailblazer Collegiate Academy at MCC-Blue River. The goal of the two-year program is to put high school students on the fast track to post-secondary academic success while helping to curb the cost of tuition at the same time. Students who complete the program will earn an associate degree by the time they graduate high school.
    Shelbi Beeman, another student who is first in her family to graduate, said MCC-Blue River was the perfect choice for her. She plans to attend Park University this fall to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
    “It is really like a family, the students and all the teachers,” she said. “There is a lot of one on one time with the teachers. They don’t just assume you know something and move on, they really help you understand. They want you to know everything. It is not just abut pushing you through, which was great.”
     

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