Columbia College Commencement

April 28, 2023

“I immediately felt at home at Columbia College because of the experience I had during orientation made possible by my orientation leader. I wanted to create this experience for other students, which led to my work with the Office of Admissions and becoming an orientation leader myself.” Graduating senior Rekia Polk is an Exercise Science major who has plans to become a physical therapist. She shared that she had never considered herself an outgoing person, but because of the confidence she gained and the intimate community she had experienced at Columbia College, she knew she had to share that with incoming students. When asked how Columbia College had prepared her for life after graduation, Rekia shared that Columbia College taught her the impact of transformational leadership. She was positively influenced by her orientation leaders and mentors within the Office of Admissions, and as a result, she felt compelled to inspire others to do the same. It is this tradition of stewardship and discernment that makes the community of Columbia College so impactful.

Rekia and 159 of her fellow graduates were awarded their diplomas this morning. Keynote speaker and Board of Trustees member Rodrick Shiver addressed the graduates and congratulated them on their many accomplishments, sharing, “You have taken the road less traveled, and it has made all the difference. Remember to share your experience at Columbia College in your future workplaces, leadership roles, graduate school classrooms, and community service opportunities. This legacy exists and persists through you.”

President of Columbia College Tom Bogart shares, “Columbia College has been forever changed by the impact of the Class of 2023. Their continuous reach for excellence has propelled the College forward and will surely inspire the classes that follow to do the same. We look forward to cheering these graduates on as they conquer what is next personally, professionally, and academically.”

As of this morning, 160 people are no longer students but alumni of Columbia College. Their absence will surely be felt, but gratitude abounds as the College welcomes a new class in the fall, inspired and energized by the community they witnessed through the spring Class of 2023.