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Triton News

56th Annual Commencement Held May 4

    by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
    Posted on 5/5/2023

The newest members of the Iowa Central Community College Alumni family crossed the stage to receive their degrees and diplomas Thursday May 4.

A record 585 students walked in the two ceremonies, held in Hodges Fieldhouse on the Fort Dodge Campus.

As commencement ceremonies began, Iowa Central President Dr. Jesse Ulrich addressed the graduates, challenging them to go out and make a difference in the world.

“The road to the future starts today,” he said. “You are the world changers and the difference makers this our community needs and I hope you are proud of your hometowns and I hope you are proud to be an alumnus of Iowa Central Community College.”

Mark Crimmins, Iowa Central Board of Trustees president, said  that for him, graduation is the opportunity to have a front row seat to each graduate’s accomplishments.

“This ending sparks a new beginning, but it is a bittersweet moment,” said Crimmins. “Outside of the excitement is the lingering sadness of the goodbyes to the instructors, coaches, teammates, and friends you have had. But it also sets up a homecoming moment. Once a Triton. Always a Triton.”

Student Senate President Izaiah Martinez presented the student nominated Golden Triton Award to one faculty and one staff member.

Arianna Broderick, Dental Hygiene instructor, was the 2023 faculty recipient. Meghann Henrich, Storm Lake Center coordinator was named 2023 staff recipient.

Martinez then addressed his fellow graduates and how to find home where you are.

“Home is something different for each of us,” Martinez said. “You took a step, and for the past two years, Iowa Central became your home and now you are ready to take the next step and build your own home.”

Student Speaker Jade Durfey said she came to college hoping to accomplish as many things as possible, including being a multi-sport athlete and honor student. More important, she said,  were the life skills she gained.

“The most valuable skill I have learned is life skills,” said Durfey. “But the life degree is not something you can be awarded with a degree or certificate. Advancing in the life degree will require motivation and discipline. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be successful in whatever you do?”

Durfey offered one more challenge to her classmates as she finished her address.

“Find what you love to do and go be proactive,” she said.

The guest speaker for commencement was Lisa Shimkat.  Shimkat, a 1991 Iowa Central graduate, is the state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Center and a Triton Hall of fame Distinguished Alumni.

Shimkat encouraged graduates to go into the world and find their voices.

“Today you stand on the cusp of a new journey,” she said. “Remember the power of your voice.”

Shimkat said that while one person’s voice may seem small it has the ability to make a huge impact on the world, referencing the likes of world leaders Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.

“One voice can change the world,” said Shimkat. “Each and every one of you has the ability to change the world. Your voice matters and when you combine that voice with others who share the same values and goals it can become a powerful force. When you use your voice, it can have a significant impact. As you move forward, find your voice and don’t be afraid to speak out. Never forget, your voice is powerful and actions matter. I have no doubt you will accomplish great things.

Not wanting to miss the opportunity to use a Star Wars reference on May 4th, Shimkat closed her address with the famous line from the movie.

“May the force be with you,” she said “And may it help you embrace the next chapter of your lives.”





56th Annual Commencement Held May 4

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