Aroostook— Northern Maine Community College celebrated the graduation of nearly 190 students during Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 11 at the Forum. Students from the Arts and Sciences, Business Technology, Emergency Medical Services, Early Childhood Education, Nursing and Allied Health, and Trade and Technical Occupations received their Associates’ Degrees and certificates from 37 programs.
The ceremony, however, was not just for graduating students. During the ceremony speakers also spread thanks to local veterans, advisory committees, taxpayers, NMCC alumni, faculty, staff, and the enormous support efforts provided by family and friends of the graduates.
“Without your sacrifice and your service, we wouldn’t have this opportunity,” said NMCC President Timothy Crowley.
After President Crowley’s welcoming words, he invited Maine Community College President David Daigler to the podium. President Daigler recently visited the NMCC campus, spending time speaking with students and faculty.
President Daigler left the graduates with a charge, “Have confidence in yourself, and let what you’ve learned here at NMCC guide you. You’ve learned to be a part of a community. Your relationship with a new community is about to begin, and I encourage you to embrace it with similar vigor. Don’t ever give up on yourself. My congratulations to all of you.”
Next, Dean of Students Dr. William Egeler had the honor of introducing this year’s student speaker, Erik Lamoreau. “Our student speaker will share part of his journey to this moment in time, and it’s not so different from others. He faced challenges, persisted, and showed resilience. While our speaker shouldered a burden on his shoulders, his success is not only his. His success or failure, would either provide hope for or dash the dreams of others. He knew that earning his degree was hopeful, and hope is contagious. It provides the fuel for resilience and uplifts those who witness it.”
Student speaker Erik Lamoreau took the stage. Lamoreau graduated with a 3.83 gpa and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa student honor society, a certified recovery coach, employed by AMHC, and his given self-help and recovery presentations across greater New England.
Lamoreau delivered a touching presentation, telling the story of “a boy” who once dreamed of going to college but found himself caught up in drugs, in and out of jail, and experiencing divorce, bullying, and poverty. After 15 misguided years, during his fourth visit to jail, Lamoreau received a letter from his mother expressing continued hope in him and his future. He fell to his knees and begged for another chance.
Finally Lamoreau found the courage to seek help. He remembered a commitment he’d never followed through with—completing college. It would take 21 years to fulfill that dream. “I am that boy, and I stand here upon completion of that promise,” he said. “When we stand together it’s a unified vision of that hope.”
With that, President Crowley conferred the degrees and certificates as graduates walked across the stage; when all graduates had received their degrees, Dr. Egeler shot bright confetti into the air and was soon followed by all graduates, and The Forum, for a brief moment, filled to the roof with color and excitement.
Before beginning the recessional, President Crowley invited Cary Medical Center CEO Kris Doody to the stage to assist in the presentation of the 2019 NMCC President’s Award. This year’s award went to Dr. Beth Collamore for her outstanding dedication to emergency medical service and education in Aroostook County. “From the start of her career she’s been an outstanding patient advocate. She’s been described as ‘the gold standard of emergency medicine.’ I could not be happier to see one of our physicians to be recognized at this very special ceremony.”
The bagpipes sounded, and the graduates began their recessional. To learn more about the programs offered by NMCC, please visit nmcc.edu.