Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC) celebrated a year of student success and the College’s achievements at its May 23rd commencement held at Waterbury’s Palace Theater.
NVCC was proud to confer more than one thousand degrees and certificates for the eight consecutive year. The program included a welcome and opening address by Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., President; greetings from the Honorable Neil M. O’Leary, Mayor City of Waterbury and from Peter M. Rosa, Ph.D., Board Member of the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education.
“You now have the strength, the skills, and the education to enrich your lives permanently and to help those who will benefit from your generous spirit,” President De Filippis told graduates.
Presidential Medals of Honor were awarded to members of the community, faculty, and students who distinguished themselves with significant contributions to furthering the mission of the College. Awards were presented to: Frank Monteiro, Founder of Brass Axe Capital; James O'Rourke, Executive Director of the Greater Waterbury YMCA; William H. Foster, III, Professor of English Emeritus; Lisa Shuchter, Ed.D., Professor of English; Catherine Hardy, Director of Financial Aid; Monika Cortina, NVCC Class of 2019; and Beth Owen, NVCC Class of 2019.
The Commencement address was delivered by O'Rourke who recalled his time as a student at NVCC and encouraged alumni to come back to their communities and be of service to those in need.
This year also marked a significant milestone for the college and for Danbury High School: four students from the first cohort of the Danbury Early College Opportunity (DECO) program at Danbury High graduated with an Associate Degree while attending high school. The first cohort began the program 2015 and will be graduating from Danbury High this month. In addition to the four graduates, 13 DECO students received certificates from NVCC in management information systems and/or microcomputer networking.
Graduates at this year’s commencement hailed from 85 cities and towns across the state and eight states in total. Their ages also demonstrated quite a range, with the youngest at 17 and the oldest at 70. “I charge you today to go forth from this place committed to widening your circle of compassion and action in support of beauty and justice in our world,” said President De Filippis to the graduating class of 2019.