President Jermaine F. Williams officiated his first—and Montgomery College’s 75th—commencement exercises May 19 and 20 at the Rockville Campus. Two days of 80-plus-degree-heat did not deter nearly 1,200 of the 3,200 graduates and their families and friends from attending the ceremonies.
Dr. Williams thanked the class for their persistence about wanting an in-person ceremony. “Just three months ago we had not planned to hold this ceremony in person,” he said. “But then we heard from so many of you. We heard how much students wanted to celebrate their arrival at this day, so we pulled out all the stops to make it happen.”
College administrators and staff quickly pivoted to plan two ceremonies (recognizing graduates by last names A-L and M-Z) on the Rockville Campus parking lot. Vendors set up a grand stage measuring 40 feet high by 86 feet wide, which included two large video boards. Three more video boards were positioned in the guest and overflow viewing sections. A total of 3,500 chairs were used for graduates and their guests.
Dr. Williams briefly addressed the graduates about transcending limits. “Transcendence means to rise above or go beyond the limits [of something],” he said. “I believe this is what higher education is supposed to do: to show you what lies beyond your limits.”
At the ceremonies, Williams lauded the unlimited potential of many members of Montgomery College’s class of 2022, which range in age from 16 to 60-plus years old. Williams recognized Board of Trustees Scholars Gerardo Paul Rendon (Rockville Campus), Kenisha Salvary (Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus), and Yanxin Christina Yang (Germantown Campus), who all graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. These students receive a cash award to be applied to future tuition or educational purposes of their choice.
This year, 269 Montgomery County Public Schools students earned a Montgomery College degree—and their high school diploma—through innovative dual enrollment programs. These programs have grown exponentially since the first class of eight dual enrollment program students graduated in 2018.
Among other notable accomplishments, three graduates, Anna L. Chacon, Marthe Medalebem Sanjol, and Eve Elias Stowell, earned the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship, a highly selective scholarship for the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges or universities.
To watch the ceremonies, visit montgomerycollege.edu/events/commencement.