AUGUSTA

Alfond addresses graduates, KVCC honors Woodlee

Hundreds of students from Kennebec Valley Community College received associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in a variety of disciplines Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center.

The graduates gathered early in the North Wing, snapping photos, clutching colorful cardboard cards imprinted with their name, and congratulating each other.

Barbara Woodlee, college president, said 496 people graduated, and John Fitzsimmons, president of the Maine Community College System, recognized Woodlee for her 26 years of service to the Fairfield college. Woodlee is retiring.

State Sen. Justin Alfond, D-Portland, began his remarks by recognizing the fact he was the second choice for commencement speaker.

“What matters is if you answer the call,” he told the graduates. “I really feel honored that you chose me as your No. 2.”

FARMINGTON

Pingree tells UMF graduates to take opportunities, risks

The University of Maine at Farmington conferred 462 degrees to the 2010 graduating class at the 157th commencement ceremony on Saturday.

Rep. Hannah Pingree, speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, delivered the keynote address to the 416 students attending the ceremony.

She suggested two keys to success.

“I got up every day motivated and willing to work hard to make good things happen. OK, to be honest, I got up motivated most days — you have to slack off from time to time,” she said. “And I took opportunities when they came to me. Sometimes I had to be talked into them, and more often I had to take a risk and put myself out there and do something I didn’t know if I was capable of doing or ready to do.”

Robert Sherman, of Johnston, R.I., gave the student address, reminding fellow graduates of the sense of community and accomplishment they have shared during their time at UMF.

Theodora Kalikow, UMF president, and Allen Berger, UMF vice president for academic affairs, conferred the degrees. Kalikow also praised a student of special merit, Emily Baer, from Brunswick. Baer graduated cum laude, with a double major in English and art.

WATERVILLE

Thomas College grads urged to ‘see the world as a garden’

A national leader in landscape and garden design on Saturday urged Thomas College graduates to treat life as a garden, a landscape to be cultivated.

“See the world as a garden and you’ll get out and smell the roses,” speaker Julie Moir Messervy told more than 100 students who obtained bachelor and master degrees during afternoon commencement exercises at the Harold Alfond Athletic Center at the college.

“You’ve got to get your hands dirty once in a while,” she said. “We sit too much behind a screen.”

Other speakers included Darrell Alexander, a graduate from Texas who scored 1,000 career points for the Thomas College basketball team.

Jayne H. Sullivan, a mother from Troy who held down a full-time job and, with her husband’s help, raised her children, while obtaining her degree, commended the efforts of many students who are juggling a similar workload.

Brian S. Hodges, a graduate of the University of Maine in Orono and deputy commissioner of the State Department of Economic and Community Development who obtained his master’s degree in business administration urged graduates to consider continuing on instead of waiting 25 years as he had.