Lakeland Community College held its 52nd annual commencement ceremony Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m., with Ohio Department of Higher Education chancellor Randy Gardner serving as the keynote speaker.
Gardner was appointed the 10th chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) in January 2019. As chancellor, he oversees the state's public two-year and four-year institutions and Ohio Technical Centers; provides policy guidance to the governor and the Ohio General Assembly; and carries out state higher education policy.
Gardner comes to ODHE from the Ohio Senate, where he had served for 13 years. He had recently been chosen as Senate Majority Leader for this latest term. Gardner also served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1985 to 2000, and again from 2008 through 2012.
More than 2,500 friends and family members attended the college's ceremony at an outdoor pavilion on campus.
• A total of 870 students received degrees.
• The oldest graduate was 63; the youngest was 17.
• Eleven graduates were 55+ years of age.
• There were four international graduates.
• 86 College Credit Plus students (85 seniors, 1 junior) representing 20 high schools graduated.
• 51 graduates began in the Tech Prep program.
• Holden University Center graduates from partner institutions numbered 113 undergraduate and 38 graduate students.
• The first Lakeland Honors Program students graduated.
• Lakeland's highest honor, the Distinguished Community Service Award, was presented to Kip Molenaar, for his years of service to the college as a member of the board of trustees.
The 2019 Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast on the college's YouTube channel and The Lakeland Network on Spectrum Cable channel 1025 beginning the week of May 20, 2019.