Monroe County Community College graduates will be recognized during the 57th Annual Commencement Ceremony on May 3 at 6 p.m. in the Gerald Welch Health Education Building, located at 1555 S. Raisinville Rd.

There are more than 350 candidates for graduation.

The keynote speaker will be graduation candidate Keith P. Masserant, who returned to MCCC to complete the final requirements for his associate of applied science degree after more than 30 years of serving in leadership in the construction and defense industries, most notably in the power, steel and nuclear sectors. Masserant is the owner and founder of Mid-America Group, an international construction and defense company headquartered in Monroe. He holds more than 20 patents for innovations he developed throughout his career in response to challenges his clients faced.

Student addresses will be made by graduation candidates Kennedy Bowling and Riley Burns. Each will be introduced by their faculty nominators who mentored them in the preparation of their remarks. Bowling will be introduced by Edmund La Clair, assistant professor of history, and Burns will be introduced by Mark Bergmooser, assistant professor of communication.

Dr. Dean Kerste, professor of mechanical design technology, has been awarded the position of honorary grand marshal for the ceremony. This traditional honor is peer-awarded and bestowed upon a full-time faculty member who is held in high academic and personal esteem for contributions to the institution. He will carry a ceremonial mace that was created and donated to the college by River Raisin Wood Carvers.

At the ceremony, the 2023 Alumnus of the Year Award will be presented to David Larkins, a native of Monroe County who began his formal art education at MCCC under the guidance of art faculty members Gary Wilson and Ted Vassar, graduating in 1980. He continued his education and earned a bachelor of industrial management degree from Baker College in Flint, where he graduated magna cum laude. He spent 34 years as a graphic illustrator for Ford Motor Company, while also refining and expanding his artistic talents, and has been recognized internationally, nationally and locally for his work; he has collectors of his original work throughout the United States, Japan and Europe.

Larkins' work has been featured at many solo exhibitions in Michigan and Ohio, and he has been featured in various juried exhibitions, including seven years in “The Best of America Exhibit,” the Toledo Museum of Art and the Butler Institute of American Art. The Artist Magazine presented him with two awards in the 2002 “Best of Art” competition, and he holds the prestigious Signature Membership in the National Watercolor Society and National Oil and Acrylic Painter Society. Larkins generously gives back to the region by sharing his talent and passion for art in numerous ways, such as his willingness to help others learn to paint, appreciate art and develop their own style as an artist; his support of MCCC art students in their desire to learn by offering his time and expertise to periodically conduct lectures, workshops and demonstrations at the college, and his involvement via his art in the Downriver and Monroe Art leagues, the Humane Society of Monroe County and other area events and businesses. Recently, Larkins' work was exhibited in the Campbell Academic Center, as he was the featured artist in this year’s MCCC Visiting Artist Series.

Degrees will be conferred by MCCC President Dr. Kojo A. Quartey as the candidates are presented by Dr. Grace Yackee, vice president of instruction.

The Agora Chorale, conducted by Jonathon Lunneberg and accompanied by Nancy Honaker, will perform “Song to Tradition” by Ruth Elaine Schram. The College/Community Symphony Band, conducted by Mark Felder, will open the ceremony with Edward Elgar’s “Fanfare and Processional” (also known as “Pomp and Circumstance”) and conclude the program with “Fanfare and Recessional” by James Ployhar.

MCCC’s Board of Trustees includes: Chair Aaron Mason, Vice Chair Krista Lambrix, Secretary Nicole Goodman and trustees Lynette Dowler, Julie Edwards, Joel Spotts and Mary Kay Thayer.

About Monroe County Community College

Founded in 1964, Monroe County Community College is a public, two-year institution supported by tax monies from Monroe County, educational funds from the State of Michigan and student tuition.  The college’s mission is to enrich lives in our community by providing opportunity through student-focused, affordable, quality higher education and other learning experiences.  The Main Campus is located at 1555 South Raisinville Road, Monroe, Mich., 48161, with easy access to Toledo and Detroit.  The Whitman Center is located in Temperance, Mich., 48182, near the Ohio-Michigan Border.  Detailed information about MCCC is available at

Marketing & Communications

Joe Verkennes
Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161

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