The student news site of Seward County Community College

The Greenhouse celebrates graduation once again

May 9, 2022

A sea of black robes stood across the Greenhouse court as Seward County Community College’s 51st annual graduation commenced. Except something was missing. For the first time since the pandemic, the ceremonies went maskless. 

Faith Clifton, an education major from Liberal, and Marioly Lara, a biological science major, commemorated the graduates by singing a song called “This is the Moment” by Jekyll and Hyde. The song fitted well with the ceremony talking about how this is the day “where all I’ve lived for becomes mine.” (Megan Berg )

The class of 2022 celebrated graduation this weekend on May 7. The celebration came in four parts with general educational development, technical and certificates, nursing and associates all being separated with the ceremonies beiing on Friday and Saturday.  

Dennis Sanders, vice president of finance and operations, opened the associates, technical and certificates ceremony by presenting a video of Brad Bennett, president of SCCC, since he was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. The video started with Bennett acknowledging all of the challenges the class of 2022 faced up until graduation day. 

“Welcome to your commencement, many of you were high school seniors in the spring of 2020. You went on spring break, to never return. Schools were shuttered, proms were canceled and sports were over. Then as a college freshman, you headed off with all kinds of unknowns,” Bennett said. 

He spoke about the challenges of entering college while having to social distance, zooming many classes and being unable to hang out with friends. 

“I often think about how easy it would’ve been to quit during those times, but you didn’t. Perseverance and dedication are what brought you here today,” said Bennett. “ … I also want you to remember that you will always represent Seward County Community College and you will always be a Saint. So have fun today, enjoy your family and friends and congratulations…” 

The class of 2022’s student of the year was awarded to Israel Banuelos, a finance major from Booker, Texas. Teachers nominate students with achievements and character descriptions on why they should receive the award. Banuelos was said as being “kind and having leadership skills second to no one.” (Megan Berg )

One of the graduates was bestowed the honor of student of the year during the ceremonies. Israel Banuelos, a finance major from Booker, Texas, was described by instructors as being “kind and having leadership skills second to no one.” 

SCCC students like Taylor Cardwell, a nursing major from Balko, Oklahoma, were excited for the next chapter after graduation. For others like Daniel Marino, a criminal justice major from Liberal, graduation was “a little overwhelming” but “all very exciting.” 

Marino’s advice for future students would be to put in the effort because many people don’t have the opportunity to further their education. Magaly Cortes-Cruz, a sports medicine major from Rolla, had a different perspective on making it through college and attending graduation.

“Don’t skip class every other day, like me and also don’t forget to party,” Cortes-Cruz said while laughing. 

Luke Dowell,vice president of academic affairs, offered the graduates a challenge at the end of his speech.

“No matter where you are, there you go —  so be there 100%. Don’t waste your time wishing you were somewhere else,” Dowell said. “Although planning for the future is important, don’t spend all your time dreaming when you’re not taking advantage of where you are right now.” 

About the Contributors
Photo of Megan Berg
Megan Berg, Features Editor

Megan Berg is an SCCC freshman majoring in mass communications. She is an 18-year-old native to Southwest Kansas having been...

Photo of Laura Gillespie
Laura Gillespie, Editor

Laura “Gracie” Gillespie is a 19-year-old sophomore majoring in biology. She was born and raised in Stevens County in...

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