By Scott Mitchell Johnson
PRESQUE ISLE — Words of wisdom from a longtime faculty member whose tenure at Northern Maine Community College is coming to a close and a fellow classmate who is preparing to enter his new career were imparted on the 259 members of the graduating class from NMCC during last Saturday’s commencement exercises at The Forum in Presque Isle.
Dan Boyd has been teaching his trade to students in the automotive technology program at NMCC for more than 30 years. Boyd is a dedicated instructor who has made a difference in the lives of his students over the years, preparing them well for their careers and for life. Although he is retiring after commencement, the ceremony provided him the opportunity to share his words of wisdom not only to his students for one last time, but to the 2,000 guests that were on hand to watch their loved ones march across the stage.
Staff photo/Scott Mitchell Johnson
CREATIONS — Several of the graduates from Northern Maine Community College’s nursing program decorated their mortarboards prior to Saturday’s commencement exercises. Displaying their handiwork are, from left: Rose-Mary Williams and Jamie Walsh, both of Presque Isle, Cindy Beaulieu of Grand Isle, Lindsey Rockwell of Castle Hill and Karen Hardy of Houlton.
Boyd encouraged the graduates as they move forward in their new careers or continue their education to hone their character and build a strong, positive reputation. He urged them to put others first and to try to direct a positive influence on them.
“I leave you with this,” he said. “Sow a good thought, reap a good action. Sow a good action, reap a good habit. Sow a good habit, reap great character. Sow great character, reap your destiny. Now, go be a positive influence and build your destiny.”
Also speaking at commencement was Jonathan Post, of Chapman, NMCC’s “Student of the Year.” The 36-year-old associate degree nursing program graduate served as president of Phi Theta Kappa honor society. He was also actively involved in the Student Nurses Association, was a tutor in the college’s academic success center, and was a student representative on the NMCC Foundation board.
Service and leadership have both played key roles in Post’s life. Despite many demands on his time, he has gotten involved and volunteered where needed, both on campus and in the community, oftentimes in a leadership role. He encouraged his classmates to become servant-leaders throughout their lives.
“As graduates, we can follow their example and strive to be better servant-leaders ourselves, whether at our jobs, in our neighborhoods, or in our families,” said Post, referring to the example set by many of the faculty and staff at the college who go above and beyond to make students’ experiences educational and enjoyable. “The call to action today is take what we have learned and pay it forward. Let’s all be servant-leaders. It does take work, but the rewards are countless.
“Our class has set an example of what it looks like to put our minds toward a goal and to do the hard work it takes to accomplish it. Through our journey we’ve not only learned to rely on our inner strengths and on each other, but also that no matter the situation, if we persevere and encourage each other, we can get through any challenge,” Post said. “After today, some of us will set out into new careers, others of us continue on in education. Either way, no matter where we’re headed, we’ve gained the tools necessary to be successful and can serve others with passion and excellence both now and in the future.”
NMCC President Timothy Crowley conferred 217 associate degrees and 50 certificates to the graduates. In his remarks prior to presenting the awards, Crowley encouraged the graduates to make wellness and healthy lifestyle choices an important part of their lives.
“We all have changes we can make in our lifestyles that will improve our level of wellness. Whether you add jogging to your morning routine or start parking further away from the door when you go to work or the store, start making the changes you need to in your life,” said Crowley. “Being more physically fit will not only improve your own lifestyle, but it will make you more employable, as well. Today more than ever, we at the college understand the significance of wellness, as do local employers. We will be working together to broaden wellness opportunities for our students in years to come with the completion of our new wellness center currently under design.”
By Scott Mitchell Johnson