MWCC e-News

May 26, 2016

In This Issue
Students, President, Lauded for Commitment to Service During MWCC's 51st Commencement
MWCC Celebrates Achievements of Largest Dual Enrollment Graduating Class
MWCC Foundation Celebrates Citizen of the Year, Outstanding Students
Graduates Welcomed into the Nursing Profession During Traditional Pinning Ceremony
MWCC Launching New Academic Programs
Making a World of Difference: Students, President, Honored During Annual Service Learning & Volunteerism Celebration
MWCC's ESL Program Celebrates Students' Achievements
Visions & Rx Programs Celebrate Student Success
Upcoming Events
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Students, President, Lauded for Commitment to Service During MWCC's 51st Commencement
The transformative power of service and volunteerism was the resounding theme of Mount Wachusett Community College's 51st Commencement on Wednesday, May 18, from the 157,000 service hours completed by students this past academic year to the decades-long legacy of President Daniel M. Asquino.

This year, 810 associate degrees and certificates were awarded to 734 graduates. The ceremony will be remembered as the final commencement President Asquino will preside over before retiring early next year. 
Tina Sbrega, chair of the Board of Trustees, led a tribute to the president, who received a standing ovation in recognition of three decades at the helm of the college and nearly 50 years in public higher education in Massachusetts.

Since his arrival in 1987, he has established the college as a state and national leader in a number of key areas, from workforce and economic development to K-12 partnerships. Above all, Ms. Sbrega said, is the lasting legacy he will leave in the area of incorporating civic engagement as a hallmark of MWCC.

"He will be remembered most for having brought our community together for the good of all," she said. "Throughout his 47 year career in public higher education in Massachusetts, Dr. Asquino has been driven by the belief that education is society's great equalizer and has spent every moment of his career devoted to all of you and the tens of thousands of graduates who came before you."

In delivering the commencement address, President Asquino reflected the accolades back to the students, faculty, staff and alumni for their hard work and commitment, personally and collectively.

"This is an amazing, transformative, magical college. Lives change here like nowhere else."

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MWCC Celebrates Achievements of Largest Dual Enrollment Graduating Class
Aspiring doctors, nurses, physicists, teachers and police officers, as well as many teenagers who are the first in their families to attend college, are among the largest dual enrollment graduating class at MWCC. This year's graduates of the Pathways Early College Innovation School and the Gateway to College program were recognized during a May 20 ceremony at MWCC. The dual enrollment programs, offered in partnership with the Ralph C. Mahar Regional School District, as well as Athol High School, 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.

MWCC Foundation Celebrates Citizen of the Year, Outstanding Students
Service to the community and to students was the prevailing theme of the Mount Wachusett Community College Foundation's annual celebration, which offered guests a "passport into the future" of MWCC and its students, as well as an opportunity to reflect back on key figures in the college's history and hear from several inspiring, recent graduates. Long-serving community volunteer Douglas J. Petersen was recognized with the 2016 Harold E. Drake Jr. Citizen of the Year Award and President Asquino was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Graduates Welcomed into the Nursing Profession During Traditional Pinning Ceremony
Family and friends from as near as Gardner and as far away as Zimbabwe came to celebrate the achievements of Mount Wachusett Community College's associate degree nursing class during a traditional pinning ceremony held May 19 in the Fitness & Wellness center. The 43rd graduating class was comprised of students enrolled in the day and evening programs and included LPNs who returned to continue their education through the college's Bridge to Nursing program.

MWCC Launching New Academic Programs
Mount Wachusett Community College is adding five new programs to its academic offerings. The new programs include credit certificate programs in Substance Abuse Counseling, Community Health Worker and Public Relations, and associate degrees in Liberal Arts & Sciences Law Track and Liberal Arts & Sciences Earth Systems Track.

Making a World of Difference: Students, President, Honored During Annual Service Learning & Volunteerism Celebration
 After leading MWCC's decades-long commitment to civic engagement, President Asquino had an opportunity to pair his pride in student volunteerism with a song by one of his favorite musicians - Elvis - crooning one of his favorite anthems, "America the Beautiful." More than 130 students, faculty and staff stood, many singing along, as the music filled the South Café during the college's annual Service Learning and Volunteerism Celebration.

MWCC's ESL Program Celebrates Students' Achievements 
Jose Mangual, academic counselor for students enrolled in MWCC's English as a Second Language program, has a ready answer for prospective students who feel they are too busy, too old or not ready to enroll in courses. He introduces them to students who once had the same concerns, but now are succeeding not only in the ESL program, but in MWCC academic programs as well.
"If someone says, 'I'm too old, I'm in my 40's and I'll be the oldest student there,' I say, 'Have you met Aurea Carrion? She is 81!'" Mangual served as host of the ESL program's annual year-end celebration, which recognized the achievements of residents new to the U.S. from Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Uruguay, Brazil, Egypt, Thailand and other countries.

Visions and Rx Programs Celebrate Student Success
MWCC's Visions and Rx programs celebrated the achievements of graduating and continuing students during its annual awards ceremony. Many of this year's graduates are continuing on for bachelor's degree at a private or public four-year college or university.

Upcoming Events
  • Greater Gardner Relay for Life: June 10 & 11
  • Advanced Manufacturing Info Sessions: Thursdays in June at Devens Campus

For information about upcoming events, click here.


Janice O'Connor
Director of Public Relations
Mount Wachusett Community College
978-630-9547