More than 6,500 family and friends helped celebrate the success of St. Louis Community College’s 2015 graduating class in commencement exercises conducted May 17 at Chaifetz Arena on the campus of Saint Louis University.
More than 2,378 associate degrees and 468 certificates were conferred. Ninety-one graduates had perfect 4.0 grade-point averages and 555 had GPAs of 3.5 or above.
The graduating class also included 18 students from Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean who earned certificates in quality technology and skilled trades industrial occupations technology through the Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED) program. SEED is an international scholarship program that is designed to support economic and social development in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, through which more than 4,500 youth have been trained in the United States and are now working to affect change in their home communities.
“Tonight we are celebrating not only the success of our 2015 graduates, but also the success of more than 1.2 million students who have attended St. Louis Community College over the last 53 years,” said Interim Chancellor Dennis F. Michaelis during his remarks.
The student speaker was Xavier Souter, who received his associate degree in applied science. Souter was home schooled from fourth grade through high school, and this shy student blossomed into a leader after enrolling at STLCC-Florissant Valley.
His long list of accomplishments includes serving as the president of the Student Government Association (SGA) for two terms as well as statewide president of the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA) Student Government. He served as the president of the Criminal Justice Club and coach for the Static Noise Team. In addition, Souter also mentored for the African-American Male Initiative and the Ferguson Youth Initiative. Under his leadership, the Florissant Valley SGA co-sponsored the Urban League Job Fair last fall and won the MCCA Make a Difference Award for that initiative.
Souter hopes to major in pre-law and attend law school in the future. His goal is to someday give back to his community by doing pro bono legal work with students who have financial hardships.
“Our pursuit of education should not be a means to an end. In other words, we should not limit our education to a job,” Souter said. “As I continue my studies, I realize that my goal for obtaining a degree comes with a responsibility to make a positive difference in my community and in the world, and I encourage each of you to be agents of change.”