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Northeast holds 46th commencement ceremony; Chipps bids farewell

Northeast holds 46th commencement ceremony; Chipps bids farewell

NORFOLK, NE – A capacity crowd was on hand Saturday as over 900 students who completed their studies at Northeast Community College celebrated their success during the 46th Commencement ceremony.

Dr. Michael Chipps, president, told the graduates the awards they have been presented during the ceremony represent their determination to succeed and to represent their chosen profession, whether it be in the areas of academic transfer or career and technical education.

“Let me assure you that the education you have received from Northeast Community College will serve you well. You will eventually come to realize that you have made an investment in yourself that will pay you tremendous dividends as you use your skills sets locally, nationally or internationally.”

Melissa Lemke-Elznic, speech instructor, spoke on behalf of the faculty. She told the graduates that their time has value.

What you are doing in your life right now, it’s the right thing. Keep pushing forward, you’ve got this.”

In his student address, Robert Thomas, Johnstown, PA, said he became a teacher after high school, but kept being drawn back to agriculture.

“Change can be a little frightening to some but worth the risk if you pursue your dream job, especially when you have a great group of family and friends that support your life long goals,” he said. “When you challenge yourself it can be quite amazing what you can learn about yourself and what you actually can accomplish.”

Thomas received Associate of Applied Science degrees in agriculture-agronomy and precision agriculture during the ceremony.

The ceremony was also the last for Chipps, who will be retiring May 31.

He said, “As you are about to begin your journey, my journey through the halls of higher education through administrative leadership is concluding after 40 wonderful years of service to Nebraska’s community colleges and to thousands of students whose paths I have been fortunate to cross.”

Chipps encouraged the students to embrace change throughout their lives.   

“Regarding change, as I prepare to bid farewell, Northeast will experience a passing of the torch with a change with leadership. I hope you have found Northeast as I have found it … that it is a magical place, a place that you love and will cherish all the days of your life. I have been privileged to lead and serve as your president. And my goal has been to serve each of you well.”   

Approximately 923 Northeast students earned 1,027 degrees; 68 students earned two degrees, 12 earned three degrees and four earned four degrees.






Phillip Schimonitz, graphic design instructor at Northeast Community College, congratulates Emily Maneelly, Leigh, upon receiving her Associate of Applied Science degree in Graphic Design during Northeast’s 46th Commencement ceremony Saturday in the Cox Activities Center on the Norfolk Campus. Approximately 923 Northeast students have earned 1,027 degrees; 68 students earned two degrees, 12 earned three degrees, four earned four degrees.