Governor keynote speaker for EWC graduation

'EWC stands as a beacon of hope and knowledge, as well as a crucible of opportunity'

Rhett Breedlove
Posted 5/15/24

TORRINGTON – As a warm sunny morning soon gave way to the cooler sound and drips of yet another spring drizzle, the Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) Auditorium slowly began to fill with hundreds …

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Governor keynote speaker for EWC graduation

'EWC stands as a beacon of hope and knowledge, as well as a crucible of opportunity'


TORRINGTON – As a warm sunny morning soon gave way to the cooler sound and drips of yet another spring drizzle, the Eastern Wyoming College (EWC) Auditorium slowly began to fill with hundreds of excited, proud, and joyful friends and family members; many of whom had been waiting for this moment for years. 

As the theater houselights brightened ever so slightly, the elegant sound of the traditional graduation anthem, Pomp and Circumstance, began to echo gently throughout the room.

EWC’s 75 graduation ceremony had officially begun.

Dozens upon dozens of soon-to-be alumni gracefully walked down the aisles of the large performance hall, a sense of eager fulfillment taking over the vibes of nearly every person in the room.

Master of Ceremonies and Director of the College Nursing Program, Dr. Monica Teichert, took the microphone.

“Good morning family, friends, faculty, college staff, and especially our graduates who are here to join us today,” Dr. Teichert began. “Today’s proceedings are to honor students who have the commitment and perseverance to have successfully completed their programs here at EWC. We are very pleased to have been a part of their lives as they are now ready to move onto the next phase of their lives, whether it be in the world of work or transferring to a university to continue their education.”

Soon after welcoming all in attendance to the ceremony, EWC President Dr. Jeffry Hawes took the microphone to introduce the keynote speaker for this year’s graduation. However, just before the introduction to the class, Dr. Hawes made a point in giving much-deserved kudos to the incredibly hard work of both students, as well as the wonderful mentorship provided by staff and faculty for the last few years.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to reflect now on things of value as each of you chose to come to here to EWC,” Dr. Hawes said. “And now you are preparing to take what you have gained here to a university or into the workforce. As we reflect on your achievements, I would like to take this moment in particular to thank our faculty who are all seated in the front of our auditorium this morning. I want to thank you for providing your expertise, time, and talents in investing in the future of our country and to the individuals sitting right now on this stage. They will take that unique knowledge you have imparted to them out into the world.”

Dr. Hawes then introduced the graduating EWC Student Body President for the class of 2024, Garrett Greene.

Having earned a reputation amongst his peers and staff over the last two years as a strong but benevolent leader, the Oregon native had memorable and humble words of appreciation as well as unpretentious relations with his fellow classmates.

“I have never even been close to a straight-A student,” Greene began. “But I have never been afraid to try new things and break out of my comfort zone. After running away from home after high school to start the next chapter, I realized very fast I was literally a thousand miles away. I spent the next two years learning and gathering opportunities I never would have gotten had I stayed home. People who were once strangers are now individuals who opened their homes, barns, and past to us. I got to go to incredible places, not to mention I will be traveling one last time with the college to Hawaii at the end of May. Like most of you, I am a highly motivated individual with things I care about more than others. I rarely tell myself something isn’t possible or achievable. Luckily my motivation comes from everywhere around me. The last few years have been nothing short of special, but how we fill the next pages is up to us. We all know how hard we fought to get where we are now, and the sacrifices will never be forgotten. I always reflect on where I am, and the direction my life is heading. As long as you stay true to what you believe in and keep trying new things, please always bet on yourself.”

The next to speak to the class was Governor of Wyoming, Mark Gordon.

Governor Gordon, with great self-effacement proceeded to praise not only the extreme dedication and hard work provided by the college staff in the success of their students but would give incredibly high accolades to immeasurable sacrifice no doubt each student has given in earning their degrees.

Gordon used his wife, Jenny, as a prime example of what it means and what it takes for a young person to earn a college degree.

“Jenny has always talked about responsibilities her parents required of her from an early age,” Gordon explained. “I did not realize when she earned money, she always gave it to her family. Neither of her parents had gotten a college degree, but she spoke about certain jobs one would allow her to do. She started dishwashing in high school, and soon after began waitressing in trying to make ends meet. While being a new mom, driving home to Buffalo every weekend and still working to get her degree; all the time she was restless and wanted to take the next challenge. Then she met me, and what a challenge that’s been, I’m sure.”

The theater erupted slightly with soft laughter and applause at the Governor’s amusing appreciation of Wyoming’s First Lady.

“All of this made it possible for her to take opportunities when they showed themselves,” Gordon continued. “There was beautiful scenery along the way but was not found with a map. It is truly a profound honor to be here on the 75th anniversary of EWC to celebrate your achievements, as well as the achievements of this institution. In the past four years, a lot has changed in our world, our country, and with education. Still, EWC stands as a beacon of hope and knowledge, as well as a crucible of opportunity. The minds cultivated, honed, taught, and applied here will certainly serve you and our country well.

“True the world does seem to be messy right now, but we have to come to grips with our destiny. There never has been a better time where there has been more opportunity, more challenges, and more ways to address those challenges. Better people will take them on, do the right thing, and do it right away. Congratulations Class of 2024, and God bless.”

The Governor quietly returned to his seat as the strong sound of applause erupted from the seats of the theatre.

The cherished moment had finally arrived as numerous college faculty and staff took their positions as the Conferring of Degrees commenced.