MWCC e-News

May 27, 2015

In This Issue
MWCC Class of 2015 Sets Out on New Paths
MWCC Pathways and Gateway Graduates Celebrate Milestone
MWCC Honors Outstanding Students During Evening of Excellence Awards Ceremony
Dental Programs Pinning Ceremony Celebrates Grads, a Special Dad
MWCC Nursing Graduates Welcomed into the Profession During 42nd Pinning Ceremony
Rollstone Bank & Trust Donates $3,000 to Laptops for Vets
MWCC Student Volunteers "Make Magic" on Campus and in the Community
Visions and Rx Programs Celebrate Student Success
Upcoming Events
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MWCC Class of 2015 Sets Out on New Paths
SGA President Cathy Teague leads the Class of 2015 to the ceremony.

 Unlike Mount Wachusett Community College's first commencement in 1966, when 71 graduates received associate degrees in six academic programs, the college this year awarded 842 associate degrees and academic certificates to 785 graduates enrolled in nearly 50 program options.


"Lives change here like nowhere else," President Daniel M. Asquino said during the college's 50th commencement on May 20. "Over the past 50 years, tens of thousands of students have crossed this stage and they are now contributing members of our communities. I challenge you to go forward and use your skills and the education that you received to continue these pursuits and to improve your life, that of your family and friends and that of our community, your state and your nation, and that you manifest an overall behavior that generates happiness, goodwill and contagious optimism."


Keynote speaker and 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award recipient Kevin Berg urged the graduates to embrace change, persist toward their goals with drive, determination and desire, and accept the help and support of others as needed.


"My path clearly had its genesis right here at Mount Wachusett," said Berg, who grew up in Gardner and is now executive vice president of production for CBS Network Entertainment in Los Angeles.


Business leader, philanthropist and college advocate James O. Garrison was presented with an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters and the 2015 Service Above Self Award.

"His philanthropic endeavors have resulted in countless improvements and changes to MWCC that have enhanced the learning environment for college students and children and the vital role the college plays in the community," President Asquino said.


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 Special Recognition Presented to College Advocates Jim & Peggy Garrison

College and local officials paid tribute to Jim and Peggy Garrison for their generous support of the college and its students. Named in their honor, the Garrison Center for Early Childhood Education on the Gardner campus serves as an educational setting for college students as well as a preschool in collaboration with the Montachusett Opportunity Council. The center will be adorned with a new plaque commemorating their gifts.
An Olympic hopeful, an 18-year-old transferring directly into a doctoral program, and several teenagers who are the first in their families to attend college are among the 32 graduates of Mount Wachusett Community College's dual enrollment programs. This year's graduates of the Pathways Early College Innovation School and the Gateway to College program were recognized during a May 26 graduation ceremony at MWCC. The programs, offered in partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District, allow students to use school choice funding to earn their high school diploma while simultaneously earning college credits, an academic certificate, or an associate degree.

Dozens of area students received awards and scholarships during Mount Wachusett Community College's annual Evening of Excellence academic awards ceremony, held May 14 at the Double Tree by Hilton in Leominster. The ceremony showcased students receiving national, state and regional awards in recognition of their performance inside the classroom as well as their contributions in the community.

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In between learning about patient care, x-rays and cavity prevention, Mount Wachusett Community College dental assisting student Stephanie Ollari consequently taught her classmates and professors a lesson or two about the life-saving gift of organ donation. Just two months after donating one of her kidneys to save the life of her father, Tim, the Millers Falls resident stepped onto the stage with fellow graduates during the college's traditional dental programs pinning ceremony on May 15.

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MWCC Nursing Graduates Welcomed into the Profession During 42nd Pinning Ceremony

Ninety eight graduates of MWCC's day, evening and LPN to ADN nursing programs celebrated a milestone during the 42nd annual Nurse Pinning Ceremony held May 21 at the Fitness & Wellness Center. Each graduate, dressed in a traditional nurse uniform, was welcomed into the profession by having a nursing pin fastened to her/his lapel by a fellow nurse-a family member, friend or faculty member. The eight-star pin is imprinted with the words "Service to Humanity and the World" with the nursing symbol in the middle.


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With a donation of $3,000, Rollstone Bank & Trust became the first major sponsor of the new, student-initiated Laptops for Vets program at Mount Wachusett Community College, which is aimed at helping veteran students succeed in their studies. The Veteran Success Center at MWCC was created five years ago to meet the unique needs of veterans transitioning from soldier to veteran. The laptops that were part of the initial program have become outdated, so student trustee and Army veteran Thomas Berger initiated this fundraising program.
MWCC Student Volunteers "Make Magic" on Campus & in the Community
"We make magic every single day here at Mount Wachusett Community College and a big part of that magic is civic engagement," President Daniel Asquino announced to an exuberant gathering of students, faculty and community members during the college's annual Service Learning & Volunteer Celebration. The event, hosted by the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, recognized a wide range of campus and community service learning and volunteer initiatives throughout the academic year. Over the course of the year, MWCC students completed 25,777 hours of service to the community valued at more than $533,000 dollars.

Visions and Rx Programs Celebrate Student Success

During its annual awards ceremony, MWCC's Visions and Rx programs celebrated the achievements of graduating and continuing students, welcomed back a program alumnus, and bid a tearful farewell to a long serving staff member who has taken on a new role at the college. "We have a bumper crop of graduates this year," said Gaurav Khanna, Director of the TRIO Student Support Services Programs.


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Upcoming Events
  • Manufacturing Expo: May 28
  • Relay for Life: June 12 and 13

For information about upcoming events, click here.


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Janice O'Connor
Director of Public Relations
Mount Wachusett Community College