Kalamazoo Valley Community College's 71st class will graduate on April 28, 2013. Nearly 900 students are expected to participate in the ceremony. Commencement takes place at 4 p.m. at Western Michigan University's Read Fieldhouse. The ceremony has traditionally been held at Miller Auditorium, but the event was moved to accommodate the Broadway production of "Wicked." Commencement organizers are confident that the fieldhouse is a suitable location that will comfortably accommodate graduates and their families and friends.
In addition to the new location, this will be the first commencement ceremony to include comments from a Distinguished Alumni Award winner. Bangor High School Principal Jeffrey Melvin is the first recipient of the new, annual award. Under the leadership of the Alumni+ Advisory Committee, the college created the award to recognize alumni for using their education toward personal achievement and the betterment of the community.
Melvin has 30 years of experience as an educator and has served as the Bangor High School Principal since 1997. He has said that Kalamazoo Valley was his first step toward success. “The people and the programs at Kalamazoo Valley guided me, a rural farm kid without a real goal, down the right career path,” Melvin said. “Great instructors recognized my skills and challenged me to stretch and grow beyond my aspirations of baseball.”
In addition to Melvin, Kari Webster will be this year’s student speaker. Faculty member Theo Sypris will also speak, along with Board of Trustees President Derl Oberlin.
Performances by the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Campus Band, directed by Christopher Garrett, will also be included in the commencement ceremony.