Jane Karas portrait
May 6, 2021

Congratulations to all our FVCC graduates

By Jane Karas

May 6, 2021

This Friday, May 7, Flathead Valley Community College will celebrate our 53rd annual commencement ceremony at Legends Stadium in Kalispell.

After the last year, we made every effort this spring to hold the ceremony in person. The generous offer from Flathead High School to celebrate commencement at Legends Stadium and the adept flexibility of our planning team and our students made this day possible. We are honored to celebrate together the accomplishments of these incredible graduates.

On Friday, the class of 2021 will be joined by the class of 2020 as they walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. We will recognize a total of 638 students earning 682 degrees and certificates.

I am extremely proud of each one of our graduates. While we all experienced challenges and adapted to new ways of delivering courses and interacting, these students exemplified courage and a strong resilience to achieve their goals. Their achievements are greater because of all they have overcome. I know it wasn’t easy – from attending on campus courses that overnight became online courses, to juggling jobs, caring for and teaching their children, learning how to use Zoom, and connecting in different ways with faculty and student services – these students continued marching toward their higher education goals without missing a step. I truly admire each of them for their dedication and hard work.

Also, I am grateful to our outstanding faculty and staff who adapted – and continued to adapt – to an ever-changing environment. I watched our faculty seamlessly shift to remote teaching and stay focused on providing a quality education. Our advisors altered hours to reach students late into the evenings via Zoom to help them succeed. Every department stayed committed to student success, and our students benefitted from it tremendously.

In addition to honoring our incredible graduates, I want to thank our visionary Trustees and our supportive community for your commitment to FVCC over the last year. Your generosity in many forms supported our students with emergency funds, scholarships, and assistance to achieve their goals in the face of a global pandemic.

To the graduates of 2021 (and 2020), you are entering a new world. None of us know what lies ahead, but no matter what is thrown at you, I know that you will overcome all challenges and find success. Whether you become a contributing member of our local workforce, continue your education, or serve our country in the military, your FVCC education will provide you the foundation to succeed. I deeply admire your dedication to your education, and I know it will carry you far.

Congratulations to all our FVCC graduates!