Released May 24, 2016

Quinebaug Valley Community College will award 306 degrees and certificates to 280 students at its 44th commencement this Thursday, May 26, at 6 p.m. The ceremony will be held outdoors at the Danielson campus at 742 Upper Maple Street.

Among the highlights will be the presentation of the Quinebaug Valley Merit Award to Dr. Robert E. Miller, the college’s founding president who served with distinction from 1971 until 1992 and returned to serve as interim president from 2012 to 2013. Dr. Miller, who holds the title of president emeritus, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, master’s degree in education, and doctorate in higher education administration at the University of Connecticut, where he also served as an adjunct professor of education for over 30 years. A member and past chairman of the New England Board of Higher Education, he has served on the board of the QVCC Foundation, Northeast Connecticut Alliance for Economic Development, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and several other organizations. He also has served as interim president at Manchester Community College, Mohegan Community College (now Three Rivers Community College), and Middlesex Community College.

During the ceremony the first honorary degree will be awarded to Bernard Auger, one of the first students to register for classes when QVCC opened its doors in 1971. Although he never finished his degree, Auger served the State of Connecticut for over 30 years as a state representative, director of the late Governor Ella Grasso’s Eastern Office, deputy commissioner for the Department of Motor Vehicles, and deputy secretary of state, among others. He was also one of the area elected representative who championed the establishment of a community college in the northeast corner of Connecticut.

Speakers will include Michael Askew, vice president-general counsel for General Dynamics Electric Boat; Scott Jackson, commissioner of labor for the State of Connecticut and ex-officio member of the Board of Regents for Higher Education; Dr. Alice Pritchard, chief of staff for the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System; graduating student Jesse Credit, president of the Student Government Association; and student speaker Caitlyn Sward.

The ceremony is held outside in the Richard Berry Amphitheater. Guests should bring lawn chairs or blankets as seating is not available. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will take place at H.H. Ellis Technical High School, 613 Upper Maple Street, Danielson. A decision will be made by 12 noon on May 26 if there is a change in venue. Additional information can be found on the college website