Southern Maine Community awarded a record number of degrees Sunday, May 22, during its 69th commencement held at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

The 1,091 students in the class of 2016 came from all across Maine, 13 other states and 20 foreign countries, and 14 percent of the graduates are members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

College President Ron Cantor presided over the ceremonies with Yellow Light Breen, president and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation, serving as the keynote speaker.

“Graduation is a time for us to celebrate the many successes of our students,” Cantor said. “The Class of 2016 has distinguished itself, and our graduates are destined for success as they advance their careers or continue their education.”

More than 94 percent of Southern Maine Community College graduates enter the workforce or transfer to another school within nine months of graduation.

Those who are continuing their education have been accepted at several Maine-based four-year colleges, as well as Smith College, Johnson & Wales University and the University of North Carolina.

Graduates entering the workforce have landed jobs at the Lewiston Fire Department, Pratt & Whitney, Maine Medical Center, IDEXX Laboratories, the Windham Police Department and elsewhere.

Yellow Light Breen, president and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation, was the keynote speaker at this year’s Southern Maine Community College graduation.

Southern Maine Community College graduates received their diplomas Sunday in Portland.

Students celebrating their graduation from Southern Maine Community College wrote diverse messages on their mortar boards Sunday.

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