580 Degrees and Certificates Awarded at Three Rivers Community College Commencement

Matt Flery Emphasizes Graduates’ Perseverance

Norwich, CT – Friends and families packed the campus green to cheer on the Three Rivers Community College graduates at the 53rd annual Commencement on May 23. 580 students earned a total of 543 associate degrees and 74 certificates. Eight students earned two degrees, 28 earned both a degree and certificates, and seven students earned a Medallion for Academic Excellence, which is achieved by maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.
Matt Fleury, Chair of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education as well as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Connecticut Science Center, admired the change that the graduates had wrought in his keynote speech, saying: “You have changed yourselves in extraordinary ways. For life. You have exercised those intellectual muscles that we as humans are uniquely blessed to have. That’s a choice. It is not the easy road. But it is the right road and it will make the rest of your days more rewarding for you, and enable you to be a stronger and more beneficial influence on the people and world around you.” He also recognized that most students had balanced work, family and more as they earned their degree, saying, “Fifty percent of the students we celebrate tonight work full time! The other half? Almost all work part time …  And even if it took you a little longer to finish up at community college, almost half of you are going straight into a 4-year college.” Fleury, who also earned a degree at a community college, concluded that this commencement was just the beginning and to be proud of this “great, great milestone.”
Addressing the graduates, President Mary Ellen Jukoski also acknowledged the hard work and mindful decisions that brought them to Commencement saying, “You chose to enroll at Three Rivers for its affordable, accessible education. You walked the halls of this fine institution, you sat in the library studying, you attended classes with our faculty, you sat with your peers to study, you did all of this to reach your goal and here we all are today gathered to celebrate you and your accomplishments!” She went on to highlight the stories of different graduates and the varied paths that brought them to the campus green that day.

Nataliia Romanenko, the Valedictorian who delivered the Student Graduate Address, also spoke of the different stories each graduate could tell and that each had their “own dreams and struggles.” She spoke highly of the education she received and the challenges she faced. Romanenko said that in addition to earning a diploma, students received “a high-quality education and confidence that we could succeed while facing difficulties.”

The Commencement Exercises also included a faculty address from Professor Michael Carta. He described how “The faculty are in a unique position because we have the opportunity to observe first-hand your thought processes and creativity, your technical skills, and, above all, your individuality. We are privileged to work with such a diverse student population and we are committed to helping you succeed, not just while you are here, but beyond Three Rivers.”

Students graduated from programs including Liberal Arts & Sciences, General Engineering Technology, Accounting, Visual Fine Arts, Nursing, Early Childhood Education, Hospitality Management, Nuclear Engineering Technology, Sports and Leisure Management, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, Human Services.

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Three Rivers Community College is a public, two-year college within the Connecticut State Colleges and University System. Located in Norwich with instructional centers at the Naval Submarine Base and Grasso Tech in Groton, it serves southeastern Connecticut and the surrounding areas. Through its degree programs, certificates and workforce courses, Three Rivers meets the diverse needs of the community by creating an environment that stimulates learning, while at the same time providing comprehensive, accessible, affordable and innovative educational opportunities. Students go on to earn bachelor’s degrees at four year universities or to work in the community as highly skilled employees, innovators and leaders. To see the full scope of what Three Rivers has to offer, visit www.threerivers.edu