SCCC’s 50th commencement ceremonies honor graduates

Raven Staten, Reporter

Seward County Community College’s 50th commencement ceremonies looked and felt a little different this year, but graduates were still able to celebrate their accomplishments with friends and family in person and online despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. 

The May 8 commencement ceremonies split 2021 SCCC graduates into two sections based on degree plan starting off with the Industrial Technology, Allied Health, Business, and Cosmetology graduation at 9 a.m. with around 85 graduates walking across the stage, and General Studies, Arts and Sciences at 11 a.m. with around 100 students walking. Nurses were capped and pinned on May 7 in an evening ceremony.

“While the number of graduates who walked across the stage was low, the number of students who actually applied to graduate with a completion of either Fall 2020, Spring 2021 or Summer 2021 was much higher,” Alaina Rice, SCCC Registrar, explained.  

Nursing students received had a ceremony by themselves on May 7. They walked across stage receiving their degrees while also doing the traditional capping and pinning ceremonies. (SCCC PR)

In total, there were 336 students who applied for graduation. Of those, 41 students applied to earn multiple awards like a Career Technical Certificate and an Associate of Applied Science, an Associate of Science and an Associate of Arts, and many other combinations. 

While waiting for the processional and ceremony to begin, graduates were handed a card with their name, number in line and their degree.

“I just got this card with my name on it and I am super excited because it says Magna Cum Laude. This day is very emotional for me because getting this title and degree was tremendously hard work,” Education major Candelaria Garcia said. 

The ceremonies were very short and sweet this year opening with an invocation. Brad Bennett, SCCC president, started the event off by saying, “What a year you have had!” 

“With this diploma comes a tremendous amount of opportunity but also a tremendous amount of responsibility as you will always be a Saint and a graduate of Seward County Community College,” Bennett said. 

Each year faculty and staff nominate graduating students who they felt showed outstanding accomplishments while at SCCC. The nominees are then interviewed by the Student Government Association and from this a winner is chosen.

The 2021 Student of the Year recipient was Samuel Henderson. Henderson is from Fort Worth, Texas, and is majoring in business and marketing management. He is involved in Saints men’s basketball. Henderson was named to the Kansas Jayhawk West Conference all-academic team as well as the PTK all-academic team. These previous awards as well as his good grades, friendliness, pleasant attitude in the classroom, and leadership on and off the court won him this award.

SCCC graduates were then announced and awarded their diplomas before being able to participate in the turning of the tassel.