Nashua Community College celebrates Class of 2020

NASHUA – After completing their programs in May, the Nashua Community College Class of 2020 celebrated graduation in person at two ceremonies Saturday, Sept. 26.

While many of the 288 graduates have moved on to launch careers or transfer to four-year programs, 105 graduates returned to NCC Saturday to celebrate with their families and campus community. The group was split between a morning and afternoon ceremony to accommodate safe social distancing.

Student speaker Julissa Castro addressed both groups, and praised the strength and persistence of the Class of 2020, “It is moments like this that you must be ready to face the challenges and come with back up ways of reaching your goal, and if the backup fails then you must come up with a backup for the backup, but you must never cease trying,” said Castro.

During commencement, President Jordan recognized Mark Lutton and William Allen with the President’s Award for Academic Excellence. Lutton and Allen both graduated with a 4.0 GPA. A student senate officer, Julissa Castro earned the Student Engagement Award for the Class of 2020. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in English, and is attending John Cabot University in Rome.

“If we have learned something about this year is that we need to constantly improve our way of living, fight for what is right, and make sure everyone has an equal and fair chance,” said Castro. “Class of 2020; dream big, never stop fighting, and work hard. You have the power to change your world and the world of those around you.”

Jeremy Hitchcock, Chairman of the Community College System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees, also addressed graduates, “This world is now changed forever. No matter how quickly or how long it takes for normalcy to come back; it’s going to be different. But all of you are prepared to be pillars in your community.”

Nashua Community College President Lucille Jordan recognized the obstacles students had to overcome leading up to graduation as they were teaching their children at home, working and serving as essential workers, and balancing classwork, “You demonstrated your ability to learn with your arms wide open.” Throughout the remote learning period in spring, she said students stayed in touch with the campus community through virtual meetings and student check-ins, “We built a caring community that supports one another.” President Jordan recalled one Zoom meeting where a nursing student reported the difficulty healthcare workers had accessing food during their shifts as COVID-19 closed cafes and food vending areas. The students reacted by organizing food drives for healthcare workers.

“This class embraced the concept of the ‘new normal” you had little choice, but you did it,” she said, “Each student before us is a shining star in their own right, evidenced by the credential they earned today – because you stood tall.”

“We look forward to the contributions you will make to our great state and our country,” said President Jordan. “Now go out, stand tall, and let the magic happen.”

About Nashua Community College

Since 1970, Nashua Community College has been successfully meeting the educational needs of the Greater Nashua area through providing a high quality two-year, post-secondary education. The college partners closely with area industries that provide students with a unique perspective in their fields of study, allowing for a real-world experience to further their academic journey. Students can choose from more than 50 associate degree, certificate, or career training programs. Nashua Community College is a member of the Community College System of New Hampshire. The seven community colleges in the system are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the “65 by 25 Initiative,” which calls for 65 percent of New Hampshire citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands. Learn more about Nashua Community College at nashuacc.edu.