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Lane Community College holds first in-person graduation since 2019

Lane Community College conducted its 57th commencement ceremony Saturday.

Held in the rain at Bristow Square on the main college campus, many students received diplomas wearing transparent ponchos over their caps and gowns. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the first in-person ceremony since 2019.

“The pandemic didn’t keep you away and, by golly, the rain didn’t keep you away,” LCC president Margaret Hamilton said. “You navigated all your challenges — you even checked during online learning to make sure you were no longer on mute. But you didn’t do it alone. All your friends and family and the people here today, they helped you.”

About 55% percent of the 2022 class completed transfer degrees and 45% earned career-technical degrees or certificates, according to a news release. About 56% of the graduating class is first-generation college students.

International students Kewalin Inta, left, and Waka Nishimura, struggle with their umbrella during a downpour at the 2022 Lane Community College graduation Saturday.

Hamilton said the 2022 class includes more than 100 entering nursing fields, 30 entering the dental profession, 14 entering diesel mechanics and vehicle technician fields, more than 100 entering trades, more than 70 entering IT, business and accounting fields, 16 entering hospitality fields, more than 30 entering child care fields, 20 becoming physical therapy assistants and 118 entering paramedicine fields.

She said 68% of the class takes veteran benefits.

Hamilton also recognized graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021, some of whom were in attendance, whose graduation ceremonies could not be held in person over the last two years because of COVID-19 health restrictions.

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