Orv Kimbrough, president and CEO of United Way of Greater St. Louis, gave the keynote address at St. Charles Community College during its 27th annual commencement on May 16.
“As I think about what makes us successful human beings, in addition to work ethic and the ability to challenge ourselves to be better, we must have faith – a belief in ourselves and beyond ourselves that compels us to jump even when we are afraid,” said keynote speaker Orv Kimbrough, CEO and president of the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
Kimbrough shared his personal story including his educational journey, which included three lessons: “1) It is important to take risks; 2) It is important to jump even when you are unsure of how and where you are going to land; and 3) Scars are a natural part of life. If you look closely, we all have them. What will you do with your scars?”
Also addressing a crowd of 1,500 graduates, faculty, relatives and friends was student representative Stephanie Kuhn. Kuhn graduated with an Associate of Arts degree with highest honors, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and plans to transfer to a four-year institution.
In her address, she described the graduates with one word – finishers. “My wish for all of us is that we’ll never be void of the personal desire to succeed. That we’ll believe in what we choose to do and make it our goal to follow what we believe in,” she said.
This year saw more SCC students graduating than in any other year – 953.
Of the 245 graduates who received honors distinctions, 30 received Highest Honors, 100 received High Honors and 115 received Honors distinctions.
During the commencement ceremony, the Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Rob Dixon, executive director and CEO for the Missouri Community College Association. Kasey McKee, SCC vice president for college advancement and planning, presented the award.
Presiding over the commencement ceremony was Ron Chesbrough, Ph.D., SCC president. Rose Mack, president of the SCC Board of Trustees, and Chris Breitmeyer, vice president for academic and student affairs assisted with the conferring of degrees and certificates. The SCC Concert Band, directed by Dave Dickey, and the SCC Signers and Show Choir, directed by Gene Ditch, provided music. The Commencement Marshal was Vicky Herbel, associate professor of sociology. Ushers included cadets from the Eastern Missouri Police Academy, student organizations and college staff.