Lakeland honors December grads
Family and friends recently gathered at Lakeland University to celebrate more than 30 new graduates at a reception sponsored by Student Life.
Joseph Reyes, of Pico River, Calif., spoke on behalf of the graduates. He transferred to Lakeland from the University of California-Santa Barbara to earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting and play soccer. He landed a job at Johnsonville through Lakeland’s Cooperative Education program which he said proved pivotal in his development.
“The real-world experience gained through this program has been instrumental in shaping m understanding of what it’s like living an adult life,” said Reyes, who was a three-time All-Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference soccer honoree and a NACC Scholar-Athlete.
Reyes, who worked overnight shifts from the moment he arrived until this past summer, said the strong support system he found at Lakeland was key to his success.
“It was the unwavering support of the exceptional faculty and my soccer teammates that guided me through the ebbs and flows of academia,” Reyes said. “Today, I stand here not just as an individual who has completed a degree, but as a testament to the profound impact that dedicated educators, teammates, coaches and advisors can have on a student’s life.”
Reyes was joined by classmates Jacob Sagal and Ayano Takeda to lead those gathered in a toast to the graduates, with Reyes and Takeda sharing the toast in their native languages of Spanish and Japanese.
The students recognized are eligible to participate in Lakeland’s annual Commencement ceremony, set for May 11, 2024.
Lakeland’s December graduates include: Muse Abdi, Maxwell Alfred, Katie Bleck, Jordan Brown, Madeline Buechel, Nathaniel Cooper, Christopher Daniels, Mariah Fox, Sahara Gardner, Ryuichi Hashimoto, Jacob Holmer, Gerardo Ibarra, Shun Iwagami, Christopher Jarka, Melissa Kassens, Timothy Matijevic, Katie Metzler, Joseph Reyes, Jacob Sagal, Ariana Soto, Dustin Stueck, Damir Styles, Ayano Takeda, Emma Teetzen, Hayley Te-Stroete-Reese, Leondre Townsend, Lily Tullberg, Gabriel Vela, Luong Vu, Kaytlyn Weidig, Jayson Wilder, William Young.