Students from across Maine, the nation and numerous foreign countries received degrees or certificates during Southern Maine Community College’s virtual commencement ceremony Sunday.

Graduates of the South Portland school were recognized during a prerecorded graduation ceremony that was presented in a You Tube video made available through the SMCC website.

A total of 1,022 students earned 1050 degrees and certificates during the past academic year. The ceremony marked the college’s 73rd commencement. The students who were recognized came from across Maine, 17 states and 31 foreign countries, according to a news release issued by SMCC.

Nearly 10 percent of the graduates – 99 students – were members of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. The youngest graduate was 17 years old while the oldest was 64.

The coronavirus pandemic forced students to complete their in-person courses online. SMCC also had to cancel its in-person commencement exercise, which had been scheduled for May at the Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

“This year’s graduates have shown resilience and grit while completing their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic,” SMCC President Joe Cassidy said. “I have no doubt the experience of recent months will shape the lives of our graduates and make them stronger when facing the challenges that they’ll encounter throughout their lives.”

Cassidy presided over the virtual ceremonies and Chris Newell, a Passamaquoddy tribal member and executive director of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, delivered the keynote speech.

SMCC is Maine’s largest and oldest community college. Founded in 1946, SMCC offers courses at its South Portland and Brunswick campuses.


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