Celebrating Graduation with our Students

Last Saturday was a wonderful day. We had the opportunity to celebrate the graduation of about 700 students here at mid-year with the formal Commencement Ceremony downtown Appleton at the beautiful Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.

We enjoyed great comments from both a student and alumni speaker. They both had powerful stories to share about their lives and the impact our college has made on them.  As we are starting to see, many of the region’s dislocated workers are now crossing our commencement stages.

I would share a related story, one that most of us probably hadn’t thought about. While talking recently with the OWLS (Older, Wiser Learners) student group, one gentleman shared that after 2-1/2 years he is now about to graduate and, as a dislocated worker, went on to say that it felt like he was losing his job again. He had come to know the people here, settled into the routine of college, and enjoyed his experience with us. Now, that was coming to an end. Since hearing that very enlightening feedback, we have worked to put some additional services in place to support our students’ transition back to the workplace.

Our student commencement speaker on Saturday was in that same place, and we too will miss having these individuals with us. Both of these students are examples of how special and important these transitions are, as are these formal celebrations of their accomplishments.

A group of FVTC graduates, who were all displaced from NewPage Corporation, celebrate their accomplishments together at this year’s winter commencement ceremony.

2 thoughts on “Celebrating Graduation with our Students

  1. Dan Poeschel

    The OWLS group has a huge positive effect on the classroom. Young students have the opportunity to learn life skills from their fellow experienced Students. The classroom dynamic totally changes when you have a mix of experienced and inexperienced students. OWLS learners can be major contributors to the classroom and validate the curriculum.

    1. Dr. Susan May

      Dan, thanks for sharing. I can only imagine how much both groups are learning from each other. While no doubt challenging, I bet it has been amazing to be part of student learning experiences such as this.


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