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Macomb Community College celebrates 103rd commencement

– Tuesday, December 8, 2020 10:00AM

Three students share their Macomb experiences during virtual ceremony

Macomb Community College is celebrating its 103rd commencement, with a virtual ceremony available at The college will be awarding approximately 2,400 associate degrees for the 2020 academic year.

“We are celebrating the success of more than 200 Macomb students participating in commencement, who represent more than 2,000 graduates during the past academic year – a year of upheaval, of anxiety and, yet, of accomplishment,” said James O. Sawyer IV, president, Macomb Community College. “Although we can’t gather together in person in the interest of health and safety, we felt it was important to find an alternative way to continue our commencement ceremony tradition. I don’t think bringing our community together to recognize and celebrate our graduates has ever been more necessary – for their accomplishments are even greater this year.

Three graduates share their Macomb experience during the virtual ceremony.

“I know this year has been more challenging than we could have expected, but no matter what the world threw at us, we still stayed determined to learn,” said Charles Guccione, 18, of Clinton Township. “We were able to adapt and persist through these challenging times.” Guccione plans to take his new associate of arts degree and transfer to a university to continue his studies in psychology.

Maria Harmon, 22, of Macomb Township, honored her family in her comments.

“My family’s first step began as immigrants from Italy in 1968,” said Harmon. “I am a first generation American and one of the first to attend college. Watching my family struggle to be part of the American dream has been my greatest motivation throughout my college experience.”

Harmon plans to take her two new associate degrees and transfer to Walsh college and pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration.

Finally, Emily Colbert, 24, of Shelby Township, encouraged graduates to celebrate what they have achieved.

“I urge you to give yourself a moment of kindness and pride. Pride in your achievement, pride in your perseverance, pride in your work ethic and tenacity because you didn’t listen to that deprecating voice in your head that said you’re too old for this, you’re not smart enough for this, you won’t graduate, you won’t advance,” said Colbert. “And kindness for yourself because you did listen to that other voice, that quieter voice that said yes you can.”

Colbert, who earned an associate of general studies degree from Macomb, plans to transfer to Oakland University to complete a bachelor’s degree in communication and sociology.

About Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College ( is one of the nation’s leading community colleges. Macomb nationally ranks in the top two percent in the number of associate degrees awarded by community colleges and is one of the largest grantors of associate degrees in Michigan. The college’s comprehensive educational programming includes pre-collegiate experiences, university transfer and career preparation programs, bachelor degree completion and graduate degree programs, workforce training, professional education and certification, and continuing education and enrichment opportunities.

Media contact: Sean M. Patrick, 586.445.7271,