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STLCC Honors Graduates, Distinguished Alumni at 50th Anniversary Commencement Ceremonies

May 21, 2012

SEED program graduates  
Students from Nicaragua who participated in the SEED program at Florissant Valley show their
homeland's colors prior to the STLCC commencement exercises May 20.
















Nearly 7,000 family and friends helped celebrate the success of St. Louis Community College’s 2012 graduating class in commencement exercises conducted May 20 at the Scottrade Center.

More than 200 faculty and staff participated in the ceremony. In addition to nearly 2,800 degrees and certificates, the Class of 2012 included 94 graduates who maintained perfect 4.00 grade-point averages; 596 with GPAs of 3.50 or higher; 224 members of Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year institutions; and 32 students who earned bachelor’s degrees through articulated programs with Central Methodist University and Southeast Missouri State University.

The class also included 17 students from Central America and the Caribbean who are deaf or hard of hearing who earned certificates in microcomputer applications and business administration through the Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED) program. SEED is an international scholarship program that is designed to support economic and social development in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, through which more than 4,500 youth have been trained in the United States and are now working to affect change in their home communities.

“Today, we are celebrating success – not only the success of our 2012 graduates, but also the success of more than 1.2 million who have attended St. Louis Community College over the last 50 years,” said Chancellor Myrtle E.B. Dorsey during her remarks. “I firmly believe that if you touch one life, you change the world. Our faculty and staff touch the lives of our students every day. Our students touch our lives, each other’s lives, and the lives of their families and friends, and we are never the same. Touching new lives is a cycle that never stops giving. We are truly changing lives every day when you take part in education.”

Mike O'Mara receives 50th Anniversary Alumni Award.  
Chancellor Myrtle E.B. Dorsey presents a 50th
Anniversary Alumni Award to Michael O'Mara.

The college also presented STLCC 50th Anniversary Alumni Awards to James Buford, president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, and Michael O’Mara, chair and District 4 representative on the St. Louis County Council.

“Like our current graduates, they came to us to start their college education, and they were inspired to bigger and better accomplishments,” Dorsey said. “Both of these gentlemen have been change makers. In St. Louis, they have touched lives and made a difference in our community, and as a consequence, a difference in the lives of all of us.”

James Buford receives a 50th Anniversary Alumni Award.  
James Buford, center, accepts a 50th Anniversary Alumni Award from
STLCC Chancellor Myrtle E.B. Dorsey. Also pictured is Melissa
Hattman, chair of the STLCC Board of Trustees.

Buford told the audience that a former president at the Forest Park campus encouraged him to take over the directorship of a local high school dropout program because he thought Buford was better suited for work in the public sector. Buford accepted, and never looked back.

“The community college is my life,” Buford said. “Without it, I don’t know where I would be today. But because of it, I am where I am today. To you graduates, you are going to do well in life, whether the next step is your career or on to the next educational institution. You are part of a great family of this institution and you are a part of a community, be it here or wherever your journeys take you. It is your responsibility to give back to your community.”