CCD Celebrates Its 2019 Graduates at the 51st Commencement

Congratulations to all CCD students on a successful year, especially our many graduates.
  • man at podium wearing cap and gown introduces student speaker at commencement
  • young man with purple cap and gown at commencement
  • row of distinguished faculty and staff wearing caps and gowns
  • young woman in cap and gown smiling at Commencement
  • man in a black cap and gown giving a keynote commencement address
  • two female graduates wearing purple caps and gowns

CCD's Commencement (Graduation) Ceremony celebrates the hard work and dedication of our students. It takes place once each year at the end of the spring term.

Commencement this year turned out 465 graduates, the highest to walk in the graduation ceremony in the last five years.

This year's Distinguished Student Award and student speaker, Robert Mastronardi, recently won the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's prestigious Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. In his speech, he asked his fellow graduates to dig deeper in pursuit of the question, "what does it mean to 'be', as in, to be human, to be alive?" 

"Such questions represent the magnitude I faced in 2007," he said, "while hospitalized for a month after being diagnosed with a critical, potentially life-threatening illness. In fact, those questions continue to taunt me and are the driving force behind my every decision and every action. He offered his insights to these questions and you can read his full commencement address here.

The Keynote Speaker was Russell J. Meyer, Ph.D., a member and former chair of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education with the Colorado Community College System. In his speech, Dr. Meyer stressed to the students that failure in life is oftentimes the best way to succeed.

"Success is a good teacher," he said, "but failure — approached correctly  — is that best mentor."

In his speech, he also highlighted several of our graduating students:

"Let me give you a few examples of successful people, drawn from a long list of the thousands of students who have succeeded at Community College of Denver.

  • Students like Katherine Acosta. Katherine had three kids under 7-years-old at home, but she went back to school to become a surgical technologist. She was able to fast-track her program and complete the degree in one year. She finished her program in December of last year.
  • Or like Migdalia Serrato. She applied for TheDream.US scholarship, a road to college for people who were brought to the country as children. She wanted to be a great example for her kids. She earned her associate degree in business administration and is now at a four-year university studying business management. 
  • Or like Matthew Hickson, sitting among you today. Fifteen years after leaving high school, Matt entered CCD with a GED. He is graduating today with an Associate of General Studies with an emphasis in graphic design.  He’s been accepted into California College of the Arts, one of the most prestigious graphic design schools in the country."

You can read Dr. Meyer's full keynote speech here.

To see videos of Commencement, as well as more photos from the event, please visit Facebook CCDedu.