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55th annual KCC commencement ceremony to be held May 11

Almost 450 degrees and certificates will be conferred at the 55th annual Kankakee Community College commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11 in the George H. Ryan Gymnasium in the college's Activities Building.

The speaker at KCC’s ceremony will be a 2012 graduate, Fawn Hendershott. Hendershott is executive director of UpliftedCare, a non-profit that provides care and comfort to individuals who struggle with serious illness. She earned a degree in Registered Nursing from KCC, and also held roles as a nurse case manager, CNA supervisor and clinical staff educator with UpliftedCare. Hendershott began her career at Riverside Healthcare in telemetry and post-acute care units.

Two students will be honored as members of the All-Illinois Academic Team, a special recognition based on outstanding academic performance and service to the college and community. They are Allie Kohl of Herscher and Connor O’Malley of Kankakee. Kohl is earning an Associate in Arts degree and will transfer to Olivet Nazarene University. O’Malley is earning an Associate in Science degree and will transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The KCC Outstanding Faculty Member Awards for 2024 will be presented to Clay Sterling, professor for the Electrical Engineering Technology Program; and Randy Gerdes, adjunct professor for the Emergency Medical Technical program.

The recipient of the John M. Fulton Distinguished Alumni Award is Eric Peterson, a 2012 KCC graduate who is chief executive officer and founder at Project Headspace and Timing, a non-profit that assists veterans. He is a U.S. military veteran who served in Afghanistan with the Illinois Army National Guard. Peterson also has worked as a paramedic and a private investigator.

The ceremony will stream live on<>. Social media users can use #KCCgrad2024 to congratulate graduates.

The ceremony will last about 90 minutes.

For guests needing assistance or special accommodations, entry will begin at 8:45 a.m. General seating will take place from 9-9:55 a.m. Guests are asked not to bring balloons and other large items that could obstruct the view of others. The college also will have an overflow room where the ceremony will be streamed live.

KCC is located at 100 College Drive in Kankakee, south of downtown Kankakee.



Kankakee Community College is an accredited two-year college which awards associate degrees and certificates of completion. KCC prepares students both to transfer to four-year colleges and to enter the workforce. The college also offers continuing education courses and certification training, literacy programs, English as a Second Language and GED preparation. The KCC mission is “Enhancing quality of life through learning.” The college has a Riverfront Campus in Kankakee, South Extension Center in Watseka, North Extension Center in Bradley and Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center in Kankakee.


More KCC news and photos are available at our Newsroom<>, and on Facebook<>, Twitter<> and YouTube<>. Official college logos<> are available online.

Fawn Hendershott
Fawn Hendershott, 2024 commencement speaker
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