(HELENA) On Saturday, 315 students celebrated the final chapter of their careers at Carroll College.
Students filed into the Carroll PE Center for the college’s 109th commencement ceremony. One by one, they came to the stage to be recognized and to receive their diplomas.
Carroll President John Cech said some of the most common subject areas were health professions, with 100 graduates, business, with 70 in business; and arts, humanities and social sciences, with 67.
Also among those graduating Saturday were Carroll’s first-ever master’s-level students, from the college’s master’s program in accountancy.
The graduating seniors elected Conor Coutts, a political science major and Talking Saints debate team member from Washington state, to speak on their behalf. However, Coutts suffered a health issue earlier in the day at Carroll’s baccalaureate mass. While he was released from the hospital, he was not able to attend commencement.
Professor Brent Northup, the Talking Saints’ coach, read Coutts’ prepared speech word for word. It talked about the importance of service, love and sacrifice.
“Take this Carroll precept with you, and love deeply and be remembered for it,” it said. “Thank you, class of 2019.”
Cech praised the graduates for their hard work and academic successes. But he also said they’ve grown as people, pointing to service projects and other community commitments they took on.
“Each of you have more than satisfied the requirements needed to earn your respective degrees at this college,” he said. “However, I believe even more importantly, you’ve demonstrated that you care about your fellow human beings and the future of this world we live in.”
Cech said the graduates will go on to provide important leadership in Montana and beyond.
“All of you will always be a part of Carroll – just as Carroll will always be a part of you, wherever you go, whatever you do,” he said. “From this day forward, you’re the sons and daughters of Carroll College forever, and the world should rest easy and rest sure. The Saints are marching in.”
During Saturday’s ceremony, Carroll also recognized jubilarians – alumni who graduated 50 or 60 years ago. More than 20 members of the Class of 1969 and six from the Class of 1959 were in attendance.