Donnelly College’s graduating class of 2019 was honored on Saturday, May 11 at the Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, Kansas during the college’s Commencement Ceremony.
Ramón Murguía, owner of MurguíaLaw Office and chair of the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund, gave the commencement address. He presented a couple of challenges to the graduates.
“I challenge you to take the next step in your career,” he said. “Work hard and keep an eye out for your passion. You will find it.
“The lesson from my parents, just like those from a lot of your parents, are to stand up for what it right while also taking time to care for the people around you. Whatever you do professionally, I challenge you to live as proud, caring and hard-working people. Your community and your country depend on it.”
The 2019 Donnelly College graduating class consists of 114 students – 43 students who received a Practical Nursing certificate and 63 students who have earned an academic degree (13 Bachelor’s and 50 Associate). Of these graduates, 81 percent were first-generation college students.
During the commencement ceremony, two student speakers, Jorge Dominguez and Thian Uk addressed their fellow graduates. Uk spoke about how each graduate should continue their lives with positive outlooks.
“It is essential that you do not take anything in life for granted,” said Thian Uk, associate of arts. “Be thankful for every single day of your life because you never know what tomorrow may bring…Be courageous and be brave and pursue what is positive and remember to open to your faith, your dreams and those who love you because they are what shape your true self. And they play the biggest role in keeping you steady and ready for the future.”
During his student commencement speech, Dominguez told the graduates they have made it to graduation and that is a milestone.
“I did go through some struggles and I’m sure each graduate here has their own private story,” he said. “I wanted to see fellow students who have achieved the same goal as I have today. I am proud to say we are the graduating students of the class of 2019.”
Donnelly’s Commencement Ceremony also celebrated eight graduates from the Gateway to College program, a high school completion program partnered with USD 500 Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools, where students earn their high school diploma and receive college credit from Donnelly.
Following the Commencement Ceremony, Donnelly College's Practical Nursing (PN) graduates were recognized in a pinning ceremony, which is a traditional rite of passage for nursing school graduates across the country.
The ceremony was led by Brianne Ford, director of nursing, who congratulated the 43 Practical Nursing graduates and the 15 Associate of Applied Science – Registered Nurse graduates, for their many accomplishments during the nursing programs.
Graduates were pinned by a nursing faculty or a nursing friend from the community who inspired them to pursue and finish the PN and RN programs. Donnelly’s nursing graduates lit their lamps and recited the traditional Florence Nightingale pledge to close the ceremony.
Videos from Donnelly's Commencement Ceremony and Nursing Pinning Ceremony can be found here.