Congratulations to Donnelly's graduating Class of 2017 who were recognized on Saturday, May 13 during Donnelly College's 67th Commencement ceremony at the Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas.
This year, there were 80 Donnelly College students who successfully completed studies for Gateway to College, Practical Nursing, Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Science, Bachelor of Applied Science, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees or certificates.
Of the 80 Donnelly graduates, 51 were first-generation college students.
"Being a first-generation college student means a lot for me and for my family as well," said Andres Garcia, student commencement speaker. "For my family, it's a great honor to have someone to graduate from college. But it does not stop here. We must keep going and never give up."
During his commencement speech, Donnelly graduate Diego Payan, said his journey at Donnelly College has been all about opportunity.
"It was here where I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life, that, limitations, are not limitations," he said. "Limitations are opportunities. These are opportunities to grow, opportunities to evolve, opportunities to keep moving - to keep pushing forward."
Antonio Soave, Kansas Secretary for the Department of Commerce, gave the commencement address. Soave talked about looking to God for guidance in life and relying on the Spirit to lead the way.
"I guarantee you, there are no coincidences in the world," he said. "God did not set it up that way. It is no mistake that you are here today. Like you, most of you, I did not have the opportunity to have money handed down. I remember days and times that I could barely understand how I was going to pay for college. And like you, I endured a lot of suffering. But none of it is unnoticed by the good Lord."
Watch the full graduation ceremony online here, and view photos from the commencement exercises here.
Gateway to College
Practical Nursing Certificate
Mann Mohamed Akil +
Associate of Arts
Associate of Applied Science
Eliseo Medina, Jr. +
Associate of Science
Juan Manuel Atilano +
Bachelor of Applied Science
Bachelor of Arts
Roger Allan Berg III
Bachelor of Science
Tina Lynn Allen +
* Member of Phi Theta Kappa
+ First-generation college student
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