Mesa Community College Graduation 2017

Mesa Community College Graduation 2017


POUREETEZADI POUREETEZADI, THE
CANDIDATES AND THE FACULTY ARE ASSEMBLED. WE MAY PROCEED WITH
THE COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES. PLEASE REMAIN STANDING
DURING THE PRESENTATION OF COLORS BY MCC’S VETERAN
SERVICES AND PERFORMANCE OF THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER BY
MCC STUDENT LAUREN SHUGA. OH, SAY CAN YOU SEE BY THE
DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT WHAT SO PROUDLY WE HAILED AT THE
TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING? WHOSE BROAD STRIPES AND
BRIGHT STARS THRU THE PERILOUS FIGHT, O’ER THE
RAMPARTS WE WATCHED WERE SO GALLANTLY STREAMING? AND THE ROCKET’S RED
GLARE, THE BOMBS BURSTING IN AIR, GAVE PROOF THROUGH
THE NIGHT THAT OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE. OH, SAY DOES THAT
STAR-SPANGLED BANNER YET WAVE O’ER THE LAND OF THE
FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE? (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) PLEASE BE SEATED. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
WELCOME TO MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE’S 52ND
COMMENCEMENT EXERCISE. SINCE 1965, THOUSANDS OF
STUDENTS HAVE ATTENDED MCC AS THEY HAVE CHARTERED
THEIR PATHS TO SUCCESS. MCC FACULTY AND STAFF ARE PROUD
OF OUR TRADITION OF SERVING ALL STUDENTS AND MEETING
THE NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITY. WE ARE AN EMERGING
HISPANIC SERVING INSTITUTION AND ALMOST 50%
OF OUR STUDENTS ARE THE FIRST IN THEIR FAMILY
TO ATTEND COLLEGE. IT IS WITH GREAT PRIDE
THAT WE CELEBRATE THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF OUR
GRADUATES AND LOOK TOWARD THEIR FUTURE SUCCESSES. I’M PLEASED TO INTRODUCE
THE PLATFORM PARTY. PLEASE HOLD YOUR APPLAUSE
UNTIL ALL PLATFORM MEMBERS ARE STANDING SO THAT WE
MAY ACKNOWLEDGE THEM AS A GROUP. PLATFORM MEMBERS, PLEASE
STAND AS YOUR NAME IS CALLED AND REMAIN STANDING UNTIL
ALL MEMBERS ARE INTRODUCED. MS. HANNAH SOMERVILLE,
2017 CLASS HONOR SPEAKER; DR. PAM HARRISON,
PRESIDENT OF MCC’S FACULTY SENATE; DR. SONYA PEARSON,
VICE PRESIDENT OF STUDENT AFFAIRS; DR. RODNEY
HOLMES, INTERIM VICE PRESIDENT OF ACADEMIC AFFAIRS;
MS. JENNIFER DUFF, PRESIDENT OF JEF INTERNATIONAL
AND LOBINA LURES; MR. LAURIN HENDRIX,
GOVERNING BOARD MEMBER FOR THE MARICOPA COUNTY
COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT; MS. MARY CHÁVEZ, CHAIR OF THE
MCC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION; MR. ANDREW GIDDINGS,
INTERIM VICE PRESIDENT OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY; AND
MR. JEFF DARBUT, VICE PRESIDENT OF
ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES. PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECOGNIZING
OUR DISTINGUISHED PLATFORM PARTY. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) TONIGHT, WE ARE HONORED TO HAVE MCC ALUMNA JENNIFER
DUFF, PRESIDENT OF JEF INTERNATIONAL AND LOBINA
LURES AS OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER. AFTER A CAREER IN THE
FASHION INDUSTRY, MS. DUFF ROSE TO TOP OF THE
PROFESSIONAL BASS ANGLER CIRCUIT IN THE
WESTERN U.S. SHE STARTED JEF
INTERNATIONAL IN 1990, ADVISING FOR AND EXPORTING
TO JAPANESE SPORT FISHING TACKLE DISTRIBUTORS. IN 1991, SHE CREATED
LOBINA LURES FOR A FLAGSHIP RICO TOPWATER
LURES, WHICH ARE CONSIDERED ONE OF THE BASS
FISHING TOPWATER LURES IN THE AMERICAN MARKET. DUFF IS A MEMBER OF MCC’S
DEVELOPMENT BOARD, THE CITY OF MESA’S PLANNING AND ZONING
BOARD, AND THE MESA ROTARY. SHE IS COFOUNDER OF RETAIL,
ARTS, INNOVATION, & LIVABILITY, RAIL, AND AN ACTIVE IN THE
MESA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. SHE IS A FORMER BOARD
MEMBER OF THE I.D.E.A. MUSEUM AND IS CURRENTLY
RUNNING FOR MESA CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT FOUR. PLEASE JOIN ME IN
WELCOMING MS. JENNIFER DUFF. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) THANK YOU SASAN,
OUR PRESIDENT SASAN. MAY I SAY THAT INSTEAD OF
BUTCHERING YOUR LAST NAME? I’M HONORED TO BE HERE. IT’S BEEN A LOT OF YEARS
SINCE I’VE BEEN HERE. TONIGHT’S GRADUATION MARKS
YOUR COMMITMENT TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS. CONGRATULATIONS! WE SEE LIFE AS A LADDER. AND WHEN YOU WORK HARD,
YOU RISE TO THE TOP. IN REALITY, LIFE
IS A LATTICE. LIFE MAY NOT UNFOLD AS
YOU ENVISIONED; YET, BEING CREATIVE, INNOVATIVE,
TRANSFORMING WHAT’S IN FRONT YOU, IT WILL TAKE
YOU ON GREATER JOURNEYS THAN YOU EVER IMAGINED. MY LIFE HAS BEEN AN
UNLIKELY ADVENTURE. MY STORY IS A JOURNEY
FROM FASHION TO FISHING TO PHILANTHROPY SIMPLY CREATED BY
SAYING YES DESPITE FEARS. I, LIKE YOU, WAS A STUDENT
AT MCC FOLLOWING A DREAM, A CAREER IN FASHION. AFTER GRADUATING WITH
AN ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE IN FASHION MERCHANDISING IN
1980, I WAS ABLE TO GET THAT DREAM JOB. I LOVE FASHION. BUT, AFTER SOME YEARS, I FOUND I
DIDN’T LOVE THE BUSINESS. SO, LITERALLY, I STARTED
FISHING FOR A NEW DREAM. FISHING WAS INTERWOVEN
INTO MY FAMILY UPBRINGING. AND WHEN I NEEDED TO
ESCAPE FROM THE PRESSURES OF THE FASHION WORLD, I
HAD WOULD GO TO THE LAKES. IN THE MID ’80S, I ENTERED
AND WON A SMALL DERBY AT SAGUARO LAKE. THAT EXCITEMENT PROPELLED
ME TO START CLIMBING THE PROFESSIONAL TOURNAMENT
LADDER FROM LOCAL TO REGIONAL TO NATIONAL AND EVENTUALLY
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS. BACK THEN, VERY FEW
WOMEN COMPETED AND OFTEN WEREN’T WELCOME. I WORKED EXTREMELY HARD
AND KEPT A LOW PROFILE. THE MEDIA HAD ANOTHER IDEA. I FOUND MYSELF IN
MAGAZINES, NEWSPAPERS, FISHING CABLE SHOWS, ET CETERA. AFTER AVOIDING THE
ATTENTION, I EMBRACED IT. HERE I AM WORLD, A WOMAN
FISHING. TAKE IT IN. AND THE WORLD DID NOTICE. A TOURNAMENT ENTOURAGE
FROM JAPAN WAS VISITING LAKE POWELL IN OCTOBER OF 1988. I HAD MY PICTURE ON
THE COVER OF ONE BASS MAGAZINE, AND I FINISHED
FAIRLY WELL IN THAT TOURNAMENT. AFTERWARDS, THE DIRECTOR
OF THE TOURNAMENT ASSOCIATION INVITED ME
TO JAPAN TO FISH THEIR CHAMPIONSHIP THE
FOLLOWING MONTH. I CRAZILY SAID YES WITHOUT
ASKING TOO MANY QUESTIONS; LIKE, HOW COLD IS IT
IN JAPAN AT THE END OF NOVEMBER? WELL, I FOUND MYSELF AT
THE BASE OF MOUNT FUJI ON KAWAGUCHIKO LAKE, SNOW ON
THE MOUNTAINS, ICE FORMING IN MY ROD GUIDES. I HAD NEVER BEEN SO
COLD IN ALL MY LIFE. AND THE FISHING
WAS HORRIBLE. I ENDED THE DAY WITH
FOUR SMALL FISH. THE LIMIT WAS FIVE. I THOUGHT TO MYSELF,
“WHAT AM I THINKING? I’M MISERABLY COLD. AND NOT ONLY I’M A
DISGRACE TO WOMEN, I’M AN EMBARRASSMENT TO
AMERICANS.” AND JUST WHEN I WAS TRYING TO SNEAK AWAY
TO CONTEMPLATE MY DEMISE, IT WAS ANNOUNCED
THAT I WON. I’M LIKE, “WON?” I WAS SO TOTALLY SURPRISED. THE PROMOTION WAS A SUCCESS. THE JAPANESE MEDIA TOOK
NOTE OF AN AMERICAN GIRL IN HER 20s WITH LIGHT HAIR
AND A PETITE FRAME THAT KNEW HOW TO FISH. BY THE END OF THE TRIP,
I WAS ASKED TO RETURN TO JAPAN TO PROMOTE BASS
FISHING FOR THE TOURNAMENT ASSOCIATION FOR ONE YEAR. I HAD CRAZILY SAID YES. WELL, IT WAS ONE OF THE
HARDEST AND MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE. IT WAS 1989, BEFORE THE
INTERNET AND EMAIL, LITTLE COMMUNICATION,
UNPREDICTABLE SCHEDULES, UNFAMILIAR PLACES,
TRADITIONS, AND DON’T EVEN LET ME GET STARTED
ABOUT THE FOOD. I WAS LONELY AT TIMES
AS I STRUGGLED WITH THE LANGUAGE, BUT I LEARNED A
VALUABLE LESSON OF HOW TO BE HAPPY INSIDE WITHOUT
ANYBODY TO LEAN ON. A TREMENDOUS PERSONAL GROWTH AND
CONFIDENCE OCCURRED WHILE NAVIGATING IN THIS
UNFAMILIAR WORLD. LITTLE DID I KNOW THEN, IT
WOULD LATER HELP ME BECOME A LEADER AND ENTREPRENEUR. EACH CHAPTER OF MY LIFE
OPENS THE DOOR TO ANOTHER CRAZY, BEAUTIFUL,
WONDERFUL ADVENTURE OF AN UNIMAGINED DREAM. MCC HAS GIVEN ME THE
FOUNDATION TO FOLLOW MY HEART, COURAGE TO SAY
YES DESPITE MY FEARS, AND WISDOM HAS LED ME TO GIVE
BACK TO MY COMMUNITY. I’VE LEARNED IT’S NOT WHAT
I MAKE, FISHING TACKLE FOR EXAMPLE, BUT WHAT I MAKE
HAPPEN TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD THAT MATTERS. QUOTING WILLIAM BARCLAY,
“THERE ARE TWO GREAT DAYS IN A PERSON’S LIFE. THE DAY WE WERE BORN AND
THE DAY WE DISCOVER WHY.” GO DISCOVER YOUR
WHYS AGAIN AND AGAIN. THE WORLD IS WAITING
FOR YOUR YES. AND MCC REMAINS THE
TOUCHSTONE OF THAT DISCOVERY. I WISH FOR YOU TO GIVE
BEYOND REASON, TO CARE BEYOND HOPE, TO LOVE
WITHOUT LIMIT, TO REACH, STRETCH, AND DREAM IN
SPITE OF YOUR FEARS. GOOD LUCK. MAY PEACE, COURAGE,
AND WISDOM BE WITH YOU. CONGRATULATIONS TO
EVERY ONE OF YOU. THANK YOU. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) WELL, THANK YOU, MS. DUFF. NOW, I INVITE OUR GRAND
MARSHAL AND FACULTY SENATE PRESIDENT DR. PAM
HARRISON TO THE PODIUM. MCC FACULTY AND STAFF
ARE DEEPLY COMMITTED TO STUDENT SUCCESS. WE ARE PLEASED TO BE HERE
TONIGHT TO CELEBRATE OUR STUDENT’S ACHIEVEMENTS. WILL THE FACULTY AND STAFF
PLEASE STAND AND JOIN ME IN A ROUND OF APPLAUSE
FOR OUR STUDENTS. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) IT IS NOW MY PLEASURE TO INVITE THE CLASS HONOR
SPEAKER MS. HANNAH SOMERVILLE TO THE PODIUM. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) THANK YOU. PRESIDENT POUREETEZADI AND
HONORED GUESTS, DID YOU KNOW THAT ASPEN TREES
ARE THE LARGEST LIVING ORGANISM IN THE WORLD? THEY ARE ABLE TO WITHSTAND
ALMOST ANY TEMPERATURES, CLIMATES, OR NATURAL
DISASTERS BECAUSE THE ROOTS ARE INTERCONNECTED BENEATH THE
SURFACE OF THE GROUND. IF ONE TREE DIES, THE
OTHERS ARE ABLE TO SUSTAIN BY SUPPORTING EACH OTHER THROUGH
THE SHARING OF NUTRIENTS. THIS IS WHY ASPEN TREES ARE
ALWAYS FOUND IN LARGE QUANTITIES. IN THE SAME WAY THAT ASPEN
TREES RELY ON EACH OTHER TO SURVIVE SO TOO ARE
STUDENTS ABLE TO DREAM, BELIEVE, AND ACHIEVE
WITHIN THEIR COLLEGE COMMUNITY. THE INCREDIBLE WAY THAT
ASPEN TREES SURVIVE AND THRIVE IS SYMBOLIC OF THE
COLLEGE JOURNEY AND MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE. YOU MAY COME HERE WITH A
DREAM OF YOUR OWN OR BE INSPIRED TO DREAM
BY THOSE AROUND YOU. ONE ELEMENT THAT IS PART
OF EACH STUDENT’S DREAM IS THE DESIRE TO
REACH THE TOP. ATTENDING COLLEGE IN
PURSUIT OF A HIGHER EDUCATION IS SIMILAR TO
ASPEN TREES BECAUSE JUST AS ASPEN’S CLIMB TO THE
TOP OF MOUNTAINS TO GROW, STUDENTS CLIMB TO THE TOPS
OF EDUCATIONAL MOUNTAINS IN ORDER TO REACH A PINNACLE
OF LEARNING VIA THEIR PERSONAL DREAMS AND GOALS. MY HIGHER EDUCATIONAL
JOURNEY BEGAN AT THE BEAUTIFUL MCC RED MOUNTAIN
CAMPUS WHERE I WAS ABLE TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF BECAUSE
OF THE COMMUNITY OF DEDICATED FACULTY, STAFF,
AND STUDENTS WHO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER
JUST AS THE ASPEN TREES RELY ON EACH OTHER. AS STUDENTS GET MORE
CONNECTED ON CAMPUS, THEY FORM A PERSONAL SUPPORT
GROUP IN THE SAME WAY THAT ASPEN TREES SPROUT NEW
SHOOTS OUT OF THEIR ROOTS AND MAKE MORE
INTERCONNECTED TREES. EVEN IF A STUDENT DOESN’T
BELIEVE IN HIM OR HERSELF, THE COMMUNITY IS SO STRONG
THAT THEY ARE CARRIED ALONG UNTIL THEY SEE THEIR
OWN POTENTIAL, MAKING THEIR SUCCESS A REALITY. HERE, WE HAVE ALL BEEN
ENCOURAGED TO ACHIEVE OUR GOALS, DREAM BIG, AND GIVE BACK
THROUGH VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES. IN ADDITION, THE
TIGHTLY-KNIT COMMUNITY EQUIPS US TO BRANCH OUT ON
OUR OWN AFTER GRADUATION, SETTING US UP TO
SUCCEED IN REAL LIFE. ASPEN TREES ARE ABLE TO
SURVIVE IN GROUPS, BECAUSE THEY ARE ONLY
CONNECTED AT THE ROOTS. SIMILARLY, AS STUDENTS,
WE ARE CONNECTED AT THE ROOTS, BUT STILL ABLE TO
SURVIVE AS INDIVIDUALS BECAUSE OF THE
FOUNDATION WE WERE GIVEN. AT THE BEGINNING OF MY
COLLEGE JOURNEY, I CAME TO MCC WITH MY DREAMS. ALONG THE WAY, THE
COMMUNITY HAS HELPED ME TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF AND
ACHIEVE MY DREAMS. WITH THEIR ENCOURAGEMENT
AND SUPPORT, I’M ABLE TO PROUDLY STAND HERE TODAY
AND SAY THAT BECAUSE OF MY ROOTS HERE I HAVE
ACHIEVED MY GOALS. IN THE WORDS OF AMERICAN
PHILOSOPHER AND POET RALPH WALDO EMERSON, “WHAT LIES
BEHIND US AND WHAT LIES BEFORE US ARE SMALL
MATTERS COMPARED TO WHAT LIES WITHIN US.” NOW, I
ENCOURAGE ALL OF YOU TO CONTINUE DREAMING,
BELIEVING, AND ACHIEVING. WE HAVE THE TOOLS FOR
SUCCESS AS WELL AS THE SUPPORT OF OUR FAMILY AND
FRIENDS WHO ARE HERE TONIGHT. SO NOW IS THE TIME TO DO IT. LET’S USE THIS GRADUATION
AS A SPRING BOARD TO DREAM BIGGER, BELIEVE MORE,
AND ACHIEVE OUR MOST SPECTACULAR DREAMS. CONGRATULATIONS,
GRADUATES. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) THANK YOU, HANNAH. AND NOW THE LONG
AWAITED MOMENT. ONCE EACH YEAR, WE
ASSEMBLE IN FORMAL CONVOCATION TO RECOGNIZE
THOSE WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE REQUIREMENTS TO BE GRANTED
DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES. WILL PRESIDENT
POUREETEZADI PLEASE COME FORWARD TO ACCEPT THE
PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES FOR DEGREES AND
CERTIFICATES. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO
SAY MORE, RODNEY. THAT’S OKAY. WE GOT IT.
WE GOT IT. PRESIDENT POUREETEZADI,
THESE CANDIDATES HAVE COMPLETED ALL REQUIREMENTS
FOR DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES INDICATED
AND ARE RECOMMENDED BY THE FACULTY FOR THE CONFERRAL OF
THOSE DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) THANK YOU, RODNEY. ALL RIGHT. BY CONFERRING THESE
DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES THIS COLLEGE BESTOWS UPON
YOU THE HIGHEST HONOR THAT IT CAN GIVE. YOUR FACULTY HAVE
CERTIFICATED TO ME AND TO THE GOVERNING BOARD THAT
YOU HAVE MET THE ACADEMIC STANDARDS OF
THIS INSTITUTION. WILL ALL THE CANDIDATES
FOR DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES PLEASE RISE. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) BY VIRTUE OF THE
AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME BY THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE
MARICOPA COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT, I AM PRIVILEGED TO CONFER
UPON YOU THE DEGREE OR CERTIFICATE RECOMMENDED BY
THE FACULTY WITH ALL THE RIGHTS, PRIVILEGES, AND
RESPONSIBILITIES PERTAINING THERETO. YOU ARE NOW GRADUATES OF
MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE. PLEASE MOVE YOUR TASSELS
FROM RIGHT TO LEFT. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) JOIN ME IN GRADUATING THE MESA COMMUNITY
COLLEGE CLASS OF 2017. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) PLEASE BE SEATED. WE SHALL NOW INDUCT OUR
GRADUATING CLASS INTO THE MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. I TAKE GREAT PLEASURE
INTRODUCING MS. MARY CHÁVEZ, CHAIR OF THE
MCC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) CLASS OF 2017, WELCOME INTO THE FELLOWSHIP OF
THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION. YOU ARE THE COLLEGE
REPRESENTATIVES OF YOUR CHOSEN FIELD AND IN
YOUR COMMUNITIES. THE STRENGTH OF THE ALUMNI
ASSOCIATION AND OF THE COLLEGE DEPEND ON THE
COMMITMENT AND THE LOYALTY OF EVERY ONE OF YOU. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO JOIN
ME IN SUPPORTING AND PROMOTING OUR ALMA MATER. WE WILL NOW PROCEED
WITH THE AWARDING OF THE DEGREES AND CERTIFICATES. OUR MARSHALS OF THE
GRADUATES WILL ASSIST YOU IN COMING TO THE PLATFORM. AS YOU CROSS THE STAGE,
YOUR NAME WILL BE READ AND YOU WILL BE GIVEN
A DIPLOMA COVER. I INVITE OUR HONORED
PLATFORM GUESTS TO JOIN ME IN EXTENDING THE
COLLEGE’S CONGRATULATIONS. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) ALL RIGHT. THAT WAS GOOD. ALL RIGHT. YEAH. (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.) WELL, ONCE AGAIN, ON
BEHALF OF MCC FACULTY AND STAFF, I OFFER OUR
HEARTFELT CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. SO THAT THE FACULTY AND
THE STAFF MAY CONGRATULATE THE GRADUATES, THE
PLATFORM PARTY, GUESTS, AND FACULTY, AND I WILL
EXIT THE COMMENCEMENT AREA FIRST AND FORM A RECEIVING
LINE THROUGH WHICH THE GRADUATES WILL PASS. GUESTS WE ASK THAT YOU
PLEASE EITHER REMAIN SEATED DURING THE
RECESSIONAL OR MOVE TO THE PATIO EAST OF HERE. OUR COMMENCEMENT EXERCISE
WILL STAND ADJOURNED FOLLOWING THE RECESSIONAL. CONGRATULATIONS
CLASS OF 2017! (AUDIENCE APPLAUDING.)

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