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CLC Connection: Celebrating the Class of 2022

These students have learned to navigate life and succeed in college during some of the most tumultuous times in modern history. If you meet one of these graduates, please give them kudos. They are tremendously resilient.

Dr. Hara Charlier.JPG
Dr. Hara Charlier
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Last week, Central Lakes College celebrated the class of 2022 at our annual commencement events — five ceremonies celebrating 727 extraordinary students. What an honor it was to come together as a college community and share in this amazing achievement. The faces of our graduates said it all as they walked across the platform and accepted their diplomas.

This year, we celebrated each student’s journey, beginning with the very first step. For some, the decision to choose CLC seemed natural. But for others, it was a giant leap. Some students moved from far away, changed their lives, juggled family responsibilities, or shifted priorities to make space for education. Whatever the first step looked like, each student got on the path to education during an incredibly hard time in the world. Each of these students is brave and we are so grateful that they chose CLC as their path!

We often talk with students about the shape of our paths. Some think paths should be straight and predictable, much like the Paul Bunyan Trail. Of course, life’s paths are more likely to have twists and turns, blind corners and challenges. They look more like narrow trails in the woods, weaving through clusters of trees, with challenges to be navigated around each corner. In the woods, when you trip, you get up, dust yourself off and keep going.

The class of 2022 faced many challenges, from navigating COVID-19 precautions, to worrying about the health of family and friends, to taking care of children, to suffering losses and struggling with mental health. Every twist and turn of that journey needs to be celebrated, because it marks a time when a student navigated a challenge, used resources and found a way to keep going. These students have learned to navigate life and succeed in college during some of the most tumultuous times in modern history. If you meet one of these graduates, please give them kudos. They are tremendously resilient.

Finally, sometimes students don’t realize the power that they hold within — that they change our college as they walk their path at CLC. The class of 2022 has been generous and authentic, sharing with us their gifts, their challenges and struggles. They have taught us how to better support students. Based on those lessons, we have changed the student experience and created new programs and services to better meet our students where they are. CLC is better because this class walked our halls, both physically and virtually. We are grateful for that and want every student to know they are powerful.

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I encourage our communities to watch these recent graduates as they go out into the world to continue their journeys. They are brave and resilient. Just watch the impact they are about to make in our communities. Congratulations, CLC Class of 2022!

Related Topics: CENTRAL LAKES COLLEGE
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