Lillian Montoya’s keynote address highlights Fall 2021 commencement

Lillian Montoya president and CEO of CHRISTUS St. Vincent
SFCC President Becky Rowly, Ph.D., addressed the class.
Board Member Piér Quintana shared words of encouragement for the Dec. 2021 grads
SGA president Cierra Wagner stresses the importance of savoring the moment and living in the present.

SFCC celebrated its Fall 2021 graduates with a virtual commencement on December 11.

Below are some highlights of the keynote address by Lillian Montoya, president and CEO of CHRISTUS St. Vincent Medical Regional Center for the Fall 2021 Virtual Commencement.

“It is my honor to share in the joy of success today. What you have achieved is worthy of praise. The pursuit of excellence isn’t for everyone. It requires determination, dedication and personal sacrifice.  Even in the best of circumstances investing in personal growth is challenging. And you dear graduates have earned a degree in the middle of a global pandemic and you’ve risen above and beyond.

“No doubt the pandemic has impacted you. In addition to the stress of your studies, you’ve worried about you or your family members becoming ill. [You] faced employment or income challenges and overcame the effects of social isolation.

“I’m sure it hasn’t been easy for any of you. But believe me pandemic or no pandemic, anything worthwhile will never be easy.  The strength and resilience you demonstrated in these challenging times will serve you well in the years ahead. A lot has happened while you’ve been studying – good, bad and even mysterious. Somewhere between temperature checks, stimulus checks, racial divides, a national election, the best selection of movies for home and the emergence of Tik-Tok we’ve learned to lean into each other even more. Trust each other more and give each other gracious space as we’ve managed through many life moments. …

“The education you received at Santa Fe Community College is a product of passionate instructors and community members coming together to ensure your future – our future – is bright. All that you’ve earned is a gift and we’re trusting you will use this gift – combined with your own passions, strengths and unique experiences of the last two years to redefine what it means to reimagine community as you re-enter the workforce.”

She then spoke about how northern New Mexico has a deep oral tradition of storytelling.

She added, “With this graduation achievement, you get to tell the story of what it means to earn a degree or certificate at Santa Fe Community College and what it means to create an amazing professional journey right here in our little town. How cool is that?”

See the full video of the Fall 2021 Virtual commencement here.