Last week, Bates Technical College celebrated the 2018 graduates at the college’s largest-ever Commencement Ceremony, held at the Tacoma Dome on Thursday, May 24.

View photos of the Commencement Ceremony

Hundreds of family members and friends cheered on their loved ones during the event, which was broadcast live for the first time by the college’s Broadcasting and Video Production program.

General education instructor Karrie Zylstra served as faculty speaker, and Culinary Arts program graduate Chia Collins represented the Class of 2018 as student speaker.

Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib gave a moving and inspiring keynote speech, where he shared a piece of advice with graduates: demonstrate gratitude in action. The Lt. Governor spoke about the support from others that contributed his own successes, including his mother’s efforts to ensure that he was included in recess play after becoming blind, and his teachers’ efforts to ensure he learned the same content as other students.

“I know what it’s like to be cut out, to be excluded,” the Lt. Governor said. “I don’t want anyone in this country to feel that way.”

He reminded the graduates that for all those who discouraged them from pursuing their goals, there were also those who always believed in them – many of whom were present in the audience. He concluded his remarks by urging the graduates to show their “gratitude in action”– by actively being that encouraging force in someone else’s life.

Annually, more than 700 students complete their education at Bates and leave to begin careers throughout the year. Last week, nearly 300 graduates returned to celebrate their educational achievements and participate in the ceremony.

View photos of the Commencement Ceremony