More than 200 graduates earned various degrees at the 39th Commencement Exercise of the Northern Marianas College at the Koblerville Gymnasium last Saturday.
A total of 14 graduates received summa cum laude honors, the highest academic honor. Twenty-eight received magna cum laude honors and 49 received cum laude honors.
Philip John Aragon Alejo, Brianna Concepcion Hunter, and Sophia C. Kim were the summa cum laude honorees in Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts. Jullianne Faye Cristino Bigueras, Elaine Manacop Enriquez, and Marylyn Yumul Tabuena were the same honorees for Liberal Arts with Education Emphasis. Cindy Florene Takasi Alo and Denaria-Ali Isau Pangelinan were the summa cum laude honorees in Criminal Justice.
The other summa cum laude honorees were: Franklyn Manalang Santos for Liberal Arts and Natural Resource Management, Lili Duan for Business, and Audrey Pangelinan Skilang for Business Administration with Accounting and Business Management Emphasis
Armi Rosario Hunter was the summa cum laude honoree in B.S. in Business Management with Accounting Concentration, while Romana Tefania Tudela Chong was the honoree in B.S. Education with Elementary Education Concentration and Leiseschangmwar Rangamar Iguel was the honoree in B.S. Education with Rehabilitation and Human Services Concentration.
Chelsea Lynn Yangirelfil, B.S. in Education with Early Childhood Education Concentration, received the Excellence in Service Award.
Kenneth Aquino Gabrido, B.S. in Business Management, received the Governor’s Leadership Award for “his active role at and dedication to the college and his commitment to serve the community.”
TanHoldings Corp. president Jerry Tan was the keynote speaker. He told the graduates to find their purpose. “What matters is [the] little steps [you do] every day to find your purpose. …Do not deprive yourself of growth just because you think you know better. …Never underestimate the power of working hard,” Tan said.
He also reminded the graduates to reflect on the life they want to lead. Tan shares his confidence for the future of the graduates, stating that they will become the CNMI’s “core workforce.”
Hunter was the student speaker for the graduation. She showed gratitude to the college, the instructors, and the leadership team for motivating, assisting, and inspiring the graduates to continue their pursuit of higher education.
She also reminded her fellow graduates to be proud of their hard work and determination. “I encourage you to reflect upon your journey and the paths that you have taken to reach where we are, at this moment. …My fellow graduates, I encourage you to take with you the resiliency, determination, and perseverance you have shown in your time here at NMC and continue to weather the storms that will come just the same. Always remember: we are stronger than the storms we face.”