In a year of uncertainty, there were 32 McCook Community College graduates who were able to make it to Commencement Ceremonies Friday at the Peter and Dolores Graff Events Center. All total, MCC grads earned 121 degrees or certifications this year.
Art Instructor Rick Johnson, who began teaching in the fall semester of 2004, was named winner of the Dr. Gene Budig Outstanding Faculty Award for 2020. Budig who was an MCC graduate, provides a $1,000 award each year to recognize and honor outstanding educators.
"Rick Johnson epitomizes what it means to be a community college teacher. He is entirely focused on meeting the needs of his students and the community," said one nomination letter.
Roger Wilson, a long-time faculty member and former Mid-Plains Area Governing Board member received the 2020 President's Award winner for his years of support and promotion of MCC.
Student Commencement Speaker Trevor Oberg told his fellow graduates, while he "wasn't always the smartest, the biggest or the fastest in high school" and not a highly-decorated golfer, and that he was "a very average student."
"Even though all of us came from different backgrounds," he said "we will have two things in common -- perseverance and self- belief.
"We all faced adversity and had to believe in ourselves to get there this day and I hope we can take all the lessons we learned with us to make the world a better place and be proud that you can call yourself a McCook Community College Graduate.
Also during ceremonies Friday it was announced that Karleigh Kleinknecht was the 2020 winner of the MCC Presidential Award, the highest award for an MCC student. These awards are normally announced during Honors Convocation, which were cancelled because of COVID-19 restrictions. Ethan Wilcox received the 2020 Vice President of Instruction Award and Adelina Wilcox received the 2020 Vice President of Student Services Award.