Lakeland celebrates December graduates
Family and friends gathered Friday at Lakeland University to celebrate over two dozen new graduates at a reception sponsored by Student Life.
Two members of the class, Essence Blade-Simpson and Julia Hanson, spoke on behalf of the graduates.
Blade-Simpson said her Lakeland experience helped her discover her passions and path in life.
“As I stand here tonight, a sensation of gratitude swells throughout me,” Blade-Simpson said. “I’m thankful for Lakeland for taking a chance on me, taking care of me and propelling me to success. No matter how long it took me, the community was always by my side encouraging me to persevere.”
Hanson noted the positive impact of Lakeland’s Cooperative Education on her experience and the many networking avenues it created for her.
“I have received so much support from professors, coaches, teammates, friends and other staff which was amazing,” said Hanson, a member of the women’s volleyball team and Phi Delta Omega sorority. “Lakeland truly has a family atmosphere that makes me proud to be a Muskie.”
Three other class members, Mallory Black, Alessandro Bianchi and Kizuku Miyashita, led those gathered in a toast to the graduates, with Bianchi and Miyashita sharing the toast in their native languages of Italian and Japanese.
LU President Beth Borgen, Vice President for Academic Affairs Joshua Kutney, Vice President for Campus Life David Simon and Director for Leadership and Student Engagement Corey Roberson all shared thoughts on behalf of Lakeland.
“Keep asking tough questions and don't settle for easy answers,” Kutney said.
The students recognized are eligible to participate in Lakeland’s annual Commencement ceremony, set for May 13, 2023.
Lakeland’s December graduates include: Alessandro Bianchi, Mallory Black, Essence Blade-Simpson, Bennett Braun, Eddie Burnett, Andrew Cardiel, Emily Federspiel, Mya Fettes, Maria Gilipsky, Tatiana Gorbich, Ethan Gruenke, Logan Hamilton, Julia Hanson, Nicole Holland, Hannah Hornsby, An Inadome, Riley Jahnke, Emma Kimball, Nicholas Larson, Kizuku Miyashita, Matthew Nitsch, Hannah Schleicher, Katie Thao, Nhia Thao, Hallie Theune, Adam Vickerman, Megan Watke.