Over 70 students are now proud to say they are River Falls Chippewa Valley Technical College alumni.
The River Falls High School auditorium was filled with excitement and anticipation on Thursday, May 10, when CVTC held its centennial graduation.
Speakers talked about where the students came from, but what the future may hold as well. And with humor and making the right choice, everyone knew the graduates would succeed.
CVTC System President Bruce Barker reflected on CVTC's past to see what the future might hold for the graduates.
He described 1912, the year CVTC opened, as a fast-paced, highly technical time. The use of electricity was growing and many people were moving from horse-drawn carriages to vehicles like the Model T.
"This new technology was creating the need for more educated employees," stated Barker, adding: This is what started CVTC and the technical college system in Wisconsin.
"CVTC has been, and continues to be a great source to receive your education. It has 100 years of proven success. You should feel proud to be a part of our history, as you look toward the future."
Tim Anderson, a business management graduate and student speaker, reflected on his past two years at CVTC. "I have changed my world because of the education I have received at CVTC."
Anderson, a 2006 Ellsworth High School grad, is a finish carpenter by trade. He is now looking to combine this with the new skills he learned at CVTC.
"I want to get into the tool sale industry," Anderson said. "With all the hands-on experience I now have, I have a lot more to offer."
Karen Lloyd, instructor in the CVTC Center for Behavioral Science and Civic Effectiveness, said she was nervous to get in front of such a big crowd.
"I am scared of public speaking outside of the classroom," Lloyd said.
But what encouraged her to do the speech was her students: "You have inspired me because you have shown courage throughout your time at CVTC. You faced your fears and you have succeeded. You can now conquer anything that comes your way."
Tom Gunderson, a 27 year veteran with the Pierce County's Sheriff's Department, congratulated the graduates, but reminded them that this is the not the end of their education.
"The degree you are receiving tonight is an early step in your career of learning," Gunderson said. "Now to be able to grow in your career, you will need to continue to better yourself through education."
By the end of the evening, graduates may have ended their journey at CVTC, but as President Bruce Barker said: "It's time to write the next chapter in your life. Believe in yourself and you'll go far."