LENOX – Kicking off a weekend of graduations at Tanglewood, Berkshire Community College celebrated its 53rd commencement with speeches by local officials.
“You should all be proud, you should all be confident of your future because of the accomplishments you had at Berkshire Community College,” Pittsfield Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi said.
State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) spoke of the need to be flexible in post-college years, relating his own experiences to those of the BCC graduates.
“While I am lucky and blessed at what I have now, this is by no means what I planned,” he said. “You’ll have to deviate from those plans. … You have to accept the good and the bad.”
In addition to Mayor Bianchi and Sen. Downing, State Representatives William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox), Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield), Gailanne M. Cariddi (D-North Adams) and Paul W. Mark (D-Peru) were all in attendance for the ceremony.
BCC President Ellen Kennedy also extended words of support to the graduates.
“BCC will always be your school, your community, an extension of your family,” she said.
Before associate degrees were awarded to 305 BCC students, the people gathered under the Shed were also addressed by the Class of 2013’s co-valedictorians, Xavier Domjan and George Leibinger, and NASA astronaut and engineer Stephanie Wilson, a former Berkshire resident who served as the commencement’s keynote speaker.
In her address, Ms. Wilson echoed Sen. Downing’s sentiments of embracing change.
“However well you forge your path to your destiny, remember to take the time to have important conversations, even if they delay you, and reach out and bring someone along with you,” she said.