Asnuntuck Community College held its 50th Commencement on May 25, with a ceremony at Dunkin’ Park in Hartford, in the final commencement as an independent college before merging into CT State Community College in July.
There were 277 degrees and certificates conferred to 247 graduates, which includes credit and non-credit graduates.
Asnuntuck’s Class of 2023 includes graduates who range in age from 18 to 65 and hail from nearly 40 towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
Dr. Eric Mosher served as the faculty Marshal. Speakers included U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Elease Wright, a member of the Connecticut Board of Regents of Higher Education, Carolyn McCaffrey, Esq., vice chair and treasurer for Asnuntuck Community College’s Foundation, MaryBeth Rajczewski, a faculty member, who brought greetings from Asnuntuck’s faculty, Asnuntuck CEO Dr. Michelle Coach, and ACC Class of 2023 graduate Miriam Taub.
Coach congratulated those graduating during the college’s golden jubilee. She acknowledged the many groups within the audience including student veterans, those who are first in their families to achieve a college degree, graduates pursuing public service and medical professions, and business owners. “I see our present and future workforce in the stadium,” said Coach. “So much hard work and determination have brought you to this point in your life,” Coach continued in concluding remarks. “You invested your heart in this challenge, and had some fun along the way, but the road to success was not an easy one…it never is,” she read. “But you held on to the wheel and kept going. You should be so proud of that.”
Miriam Taub told her fellow graduates, “An ending will always be a beginning for something else, and in the spirit of that, today opens an unchartered chapter to an entirely new adventure. My fellow graduates, take this day to recognize and honor your accomplishments throughout your journey here at Asnuntuck Community College.”
During the ceremony, Taub received the Distinguished Service Award. Graduation awards were also presented to Kylar Maldonado, who received the Broken Paddle award and Meagan Pugliese, who was awarded the Nelson Bordeau award.
Asnuntuck retirees William Searle, professor of Management and Futures Studies and senior consultant in Teaching, Center for Teaching, Emeritus, and Madonna (DJ) Jones-Searle, Asnuntuck director of financial aid emeritus, were presented honorary associate of arts degrees for their service to Asnuntuck and the surrounding community for nearly 50 years. The couple resides in Enfield.
Asnuntuck emeriti William Searle and Madonna (DJ) Jones-Searle were presented honorary associate of arts degrees for their service to Asnuntuck and the surrounding community for nearly 50 years. William retired as professor of Management and Futures Studies and senior consultant in Teaching, Center for Teaching. Madonna (DJ) retired as Director of Financial Aid. The couple resides in Enfield.
To see an album of photos from the ceremony visit Facebook.com/Asnuntuck. The video of Asnuntuck Commencement 2023 is now available on Asnuntuck’s YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/FYDt0SYhuXs.
During its 50 years, Asnuntuck has served 79,167 students and conferred 13,051 awards, which include associate degrees, certificates, and noncredit certificates.
Located in Enfield, ACC offers associate degrees, certificates, and short-term workforce training to prepare students for careers, transfer opportunities, and lifelong learning. The college was established in 1969 as the 12th institution in the Connecticut state community system.
Classes began in 1972 in the former North School Building in the Thompsonville section of Enfield, with an initial enrollment of 251. Later, Asnuntuck moved to a leased warehouse on Phoenix Avenue before growing out of the space and relocating in 1983 to its current location at 170 Elm Street. The college added its advanced manufacturing program in 1998, and in 2017 added a 27,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Center.
Asnuntuck is among 12 community colleges in Connecticut merging in July to become CT State Community College, one of the largest community colleges in the country and largest in New England, dedicated to quality, access, and affordability. CT State students will be able to apply once and take classes at any campus. In addition to Asnuntuck, other locations include Capital (Hartford), Gateway (New Haven & North Haven), Housatonic (Bridgeport), Manchester, Middlesex (Middletown & Meriden), Naugatuck Valley (Waterbury & Danbury), Northwestern Connecticut (Winsted), Norwalk, Quinebaug Valley (Danielson & Willimantic), Three Rivers (Norwich), and Tunxis (Farmington) Community Colleges.
Dr. Eric Mosher, leading graduates on to the field at Dunkin Park in Hartford, served as the faculty Marshal for Asnuntuck Community College’s 50th Commencement ceremony on May 25. Photo by Julie Cotnoir