Waterbury, Conn. – The largest class in NVCC history graduated on May 30, with 1,216 awards presented during the commencement ceremony at the Palace Theater.
Guest speakers included keynote speaker United States Senator Christopher Murphy, Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education member Nicholas Donofrio and
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary.
NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, P.h.D. congratulated graduates and their families, remarking how the class of 2013 saw many "firsts" at the college this year. The first graduating class from the new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, the first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence, Pascal Meccariello, to teach at Connecticut community college, the first open house in more than twenty years, the first class to share the campus with a twelve million dollar GEAR UP Grant.
“We believe in you, our graduates, to make the future brighter for yourselves and for all of us because we believe in you and in your dreams,” President De Filippis said. “I am so proud, and so honored to be your President.”
Community partner Dave Boiano, co-chairman for the advisory council to the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, said his experience working NVCC has left him impressed with the college’s understanding and commitment to the community it serves.
“The college does a really good job with outreach and responding to what the community wants,” Boiano said. “They took the community’s needs to heart, and they put a lot of effort to make things happen.”
The overarching theme of the ceremony was the importance of personal kindness and responsibility, with leaders urging students to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge to better their community.
Distinguished student Jacob Dooling, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA and received the college’s Presidential Medal of Honor, encouraged his fellow graduates to make the most of their talents, and to make a difference in the world, and in the lives of others.
“My dream, and I hope all of your dreams, is to help as many people as I possibly can throughout my life, so that when I look back on it at the end, I can say I’ve made the world a better place,” Dooling said.
Planning to attend John Hopkins University on a full scholarship this fall, Dooling thanked his NVCC professors and school leaders for their support and for creating an ideal environment for his academic growth.
Graduates showed mixed emotions throughout the ceremony, sad to leave friends, but optimistic about entering the workforce or furthering their studies.
"I'm glad finals are over, and I'm glad to have some time to relax before going on to get my Bachelor's in Marketing," Stephanie Symdon, Business Management graduate said.
“It’s hard to believe it’s finally over," Nursing graduate Grace Vargas said. “I’m so excited.”