By Josh Larkin
Almost 600 students from across the state received associate degrees at the CCV ceremonies.
Students representing all 14 Vermont counties graduated along with students from 11 other states and 10 countries worldwide. The youngest graduate was 17 and the eldest was 62.
Also among the graduates were 33 veterans and active duty military personnel.
Seven Days Multimedia Producer Eva Sollberger and Lt. Governor Phil Scott addressed the Class of 2015. CCV President Joyce Judy officiated the event.
In her speech to the graduates, Judy spoke on the impact the graduating class has had on the state of Vermont, citing many community service projects from the past year.
“Through these projects you have participated in, the actions you have taken, and the choices you have made to reach this point, you have affected positive change in your world, your state, your communities, and your families,” Judy said. “Whatever adventures you pursue in your futures, I know you will do us proud.”
Lt. Governor Phil Scott addressed the graduates, explaining the importance of hard work and determination.
“The hard work never really stops, it just gets more routine and that’s ok,” he said. “Never stop trying to do better or do more because then you become complacent and that leads to a dull life.”
The Lt. Governor offered a few pieces of advice to the students as well.
“Try to listen to others, never be afraid to ask questions, and always make good on your promises,” he advised, also encouraging the students to give back to their communities, “pay it forward,” and treat others the way they would like to be treated.
Sollberger, who explained to the students that she held many jobs throughout her life, encouraged the class to find what they’re passionate about, work hard and “stay on target” to reach their goals.
“When you are passionate about what you do, the blood, sweat and tears seem worth it somehow,” she said. “Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to find the work that makes your heart sing, the payoff is more than worth the long journey… this graduation day, it’s proof that you can achieve whatever you set out to do.”
CCV-Montpelier student Ashlee Brady-Kelly addressed the students as the student speaker. She spoke of her love for CCV and the sense of community she felt throughout her time as a student.
“I didn’t realize until I transferred to CCV just how important the concept of community is,” she said. “The faculty here support us. They celebrate our successes and walk beside us through the obstacles and setbacks.”
Brady-Kelly, like Sollberger, also spoke about hard work and perseverance. “Life, like so many valuable lessons, will not come easily or without its own set of challenges. There may be times where it would be easier to succumb, than to thrive; to conquer,” she said. “However I encourage you, please do not give up on yourself and never, never give up on your goals. It is in the most trying times that knowledge is gained and strength, earned.”
CCV is Vermont’s second largest college, serving over 7,000 students each semester. With 12 locations and extensive online learning options.