U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona and Ohio Chancellor Randy Gardner Keynote Lorain County Community College Commencement
May 12, 2021
Lorain County Community College’s Class of 2021 will be honored Saturday, May 15 by U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona and Ohio Department of Higher Education Chancellor Randy Gardner. “Having the nation’s and state’s senior higher education leaders provide keynote addresses as part of Lorain County Community College’s 57th Commencement Ceremony is an extraordinary testament to the fortitude and academic achievement of this year’s graduates,” LCCC President Marcia J. Ballinger, Ph.D., said.
Cardona was sworn in as the 12th Secretary of Education in March and is an ardent supporter of community colleges across the country. His keynote remarks will share inspiration, wisdom and hope with the LCCC Class of 2021. “We are honored to host Secretary Cardona as part of our virtual commencement ceremony,” Ballinger said. “His special message to our students not only inspires but confirms that our students are prepared for a bright future, one in which they will make a difference in our community and the world.”
The graduating class includes 1,854 LCCC graduates earning 2,234 degrees or certificates, as well as an additional 365 graduates earning associate, bachelor’s or master’s degrees through LCCC’s University Partnership – the largest class in the 25-year history of the program. LCCC’s Class of 2021 includes 94 students who are earning an associate degree during the same year that they are graduating from high school, through the Lorain County Early College High School and College Credit Plus programs.
Among the graduates are the first three students to earn LCCC’s bachelor of applied science in Microelectronic Manufacturing (MEMS). In 2018, LCCC became the first community college in Ohio authorized to deliver an applied bachelor’s degree, and is the first community college in the country to offer an applied bachelor’s degree in MEMS.
Chancellor Randy Gardner will share special remarks about the MEMS graduates, as well as the entire LCCC graduating class. Chancellor Gardner was appointed by Governor Mike DeWine as the 10th Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education in January 2019. Chancellor Gardner oversees the state’s two-year and four-year colleges and universities and Ohio Technical Centers.
“We are grateful for Chancellor Gardner’s deep support of Ohio’s community colleges and for his leadership making it possible for LCCC to deliver an applied bachelor’s degree. His comments during the ceremony will help commemorate this historic moment and will enhance this special day for all the graduates,” Ballinger said.
The virtual commencement ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 15. The event will be streamed to the college’s social media channels, as well as the LCCC website. Graduates were also given the opportunity to register for a stage crossing event where they will receive their diploma cover and a professional photo. The event will be held Saturday afternoon in the Ewing Center Field House and will follow social distancing guidelines.
To further honor the LCCC and University Partnership Class of 2021, the college will unveil a large-scale public recognition display, “21 Doors of Opportunity.” The display includes 21 large doors that recognize graduates in each of the college’s academic pathways.
The doors signify students’ journey as college students – beginning their education on one side of the door, choosing to walk through their degree pathway, and emerging on the other side as college graduates.
Located near the Patsie C. and Delores Jeneé Campana Center, each door showcases stories of LCCC and University Partnership graduates and includes augmented reality effects. Visitors are encouraged to bring their smart phones to interact with the doors, take photos, and share on social media.
“The Doors of Opportunity are designed to honor the class of 2021, and the courage they demonstrated to achieve their academic goals,” Ballinger said. “Many students faced incredible challenges throughout their journey and they persevered to become college graduates.”
The public display will be open for viewing daily through May 23.
Learn more information about LCCC’s graduation celebration here.
About Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio
Established in 1963, Lorain County Community College is the first community college in Ohio with a permanent campus. For more than five decades, LCCC has served the diverse needs of the greater Lorain County region by providing affordable access to higher education and now serves approximately 13,000 students each year through LCCC and its innovative University Partnership. The institution recently adopted a new strategic plan, Vision 2025: 10,000 Degrees of Impact, which declares a bold goal of 10,000 individuals earning an LCCC degree or credential by the year 2025. Vision 2025 intends to impact individuals and families as well as the economy and community through five focus areas – student, success, future, work and community.