KCC set to hold 50th graduation ceremony

May 10, 2019 GMT

Kankakee Community College will hold its 50th annual commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday at the George H. Ryan Gymnasium in the college’s Activities Building.

KCC was organized in the fall of 1966 by a group of concerned citizens determined to provide a post-secondary educational resource for residents of the region. The first classes were held in September of 1968 and the first graduation ceremony in the spring of 1970.

About 450 students will be part of the latest graduating class, and a number of students, as well as faculty and alumni, will be individually recognized at the ceremony.

John Avendano, KCC’s outgoing president who has held the role for the past 10 years, will be the commencement speaker. He is a community college graduate himself and has more than 30 years of experience working for community colleges in Illinois.

“Over the years, as both a student and later as an employee of the community college system in Illinois, I came to fully realize the impact our two-year institutions have on the lives of those we serve,” Avendano said. “As a result, I have dedicated my entire career to the mission and purpose of community colleges.”

Two students will be honored as members of the All-Illinois Academic Team, a special recognition based on outstanding academic performance and service to the college and community.

One honoree is Sarah Doris, of Kankakee. She will receive an Associate in Science transfer degree and transfer to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale to pursue a pre-veterinary bachelor’s degree. The other All-Academic Team member, Joseph Sikma, of Bourbonnais, will receive an Associate in Science transfer degree. Next, he will attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Amy Porter, professor in the humanities and social sciences division; and Claire Henneike, adjunct professor in the humanities and social sciences division, will receive the KCC Outstanding Faculty Member Awards for 2019.

The ceremony will stream live on the KCC website, kcc.edu. Social media users can use #KCCgrad2019 to congratulate graduates.

The ceremony will last about 90 minutes. Wristbands given to graduates will be required for admission to the gymnasium. Seating will be available for guests without wristbands in nearby rooms where there will be a live videocast.

For guests needing assistance or special accommodations, entry will begin at 8:45 a.m. General seating begins at 9 a.m. Guests are asked not to bring balloons and other large items that could obstruct the view of others.