TRiO Students and staff posing with President Dastmozd
Last evening’s Saint Paul College Commencement Ceremony was an exceptional evening. The graduating class is approximately 1500 students, and over 500 students attended the ceremony, with scores of faculty and staff there to congratulate them. The auditorium was filled with friends and family witnessing and celebrating the graduates’ major milestones and achievements. College commencement is a significant event for all graduates, and a confirmation of the skills mastered and knowledge attained during their time at Saint Paul College. Commencement, of course, is the start of the next phase of their life-long learning and commitment to achieving their dreams.
Their success as students is a culmination their hard work, resilience, and determination to earn their certificates, diplomas and associate degrees. Our graduates are well on their way in their life's journey, eager to start their new jobs and join the workforce in new careers; many are transferring to four-year institutions. The profound economic impact these graduates will have in our community and beyond is simply immeasurable. Saint Paul College students escalate the economic development and prosperity for the state of Minnesota. Saint Paul College provides exceptional graduates who transfer to Colleges and Universities in Minnesota, or region, or nation-wide. Our graduates are employed in the high demand fields of construction, health, business, information technology, manufacturing, transportation occupational clusters and skilled trades.
Kathryn Kueppers singing our national anthem, as JROTC Color Guard hold the American flag.
Jake Ledman delivers his commencement remarks to the Class of 2018.
I’m very grateful to the Class of 2018 student representatives: Ms. Kathryn Kueppers, Culinary Arts program, who sang a beautiful rendition of our national anthem, and Mr. Jake Ledman, Auto Service Technician program, who provided remarks on behalf of his classmates. Ms. Mindy Travers, Saint Paul College graduate and now Business instructor, Business Department chair and president of the Minnesota State College Faculty union, gave heartening remarks on behalf of faculty. We were also honored to have our new Minnesota State Chancellor, Dr. Devinder Malhotra, deliver commencement remarks on behalf of Minnesota State congratulating the new graduates. Dr. Kristen Raney provided the greetings, introductions of faculty and students who received special award recognition, and presented the Class of 2018 for graduation. Faculty members Dr. Jason Swartwood, Philosophy, and Ms. Victoria LeMay, read the names of each graduate as they crossed the stage. The entire commencement ceremony would not be possible without all the contributions of innumerable administrators, faculty and staff, and most importantly the students who chose Saint Paul College for their postsecondary education. I believe that we are a college that lives the value of service, and that as a community we experience great joy, especially on occasions such as commencement.
Throughout the College’s history, the physical brick and mortar, the makeup and demographics of our students, staff, and faculty might have changed, but one thing has remained constant: the high quality of education that our students receive at Saint Paul College. For that, I am proud of our knowledgeable faculty and dedicated staff who demonstrate a steady ethics of care for our students - I like to think of it as delivering on the idea, that when
our students start at Saint Paul College, they can go anywhere.
I will leave you with a quote from Saint Francis of Assisi:
“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received-only what you have given: a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”
Thank you all for supporting Saint Paul College and our students.
Rassoul Dastmozd, PhD
Saint Paul College