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Two lines of Graduates, in graduation regalia, walking down the aisle.
Graduates walking in the 2019 Commencement. View image gallery below for more photos.

Congratulations to the NECC Class of 2019!

More than 1,100 associate degrees and certificates were awarded to students from all over the Merrimack Valley at Northern Essex Community College’s 57th Commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

In his commencement address, Bob Rivers, CEO of Eastern Bank, told the Northern Essex graduates and guests  “In short, you must “aim high”, not only in your chosen field, but in your ideals, in your beliefs, and in your expectations of others and our society,” he said. “And if you happen to fall short, know that you – and our community and our country – will be so much further ahead, so much better, than if you had settled for what others might consider more reasonable expectations.”

Rivers is a leader of social justice and sustainability causes, and an advocate for a more inclusive community.

In introducing Rivers, NECC President Lane Glenn said “Bob has consistently used his platform as a bank president to rally support for corporate inclusivity and fight discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Here is a Rivers’ speech (PDF).

Student Speaker, Yexis Hechavarria, who graduated with high honors and an associate degree in Biology, shared what it was like growing up in Cuba and the culture shock she experienced when she moved to Lawrence five years ago when she was 17.

“When I arrived here, I realized my life had drastically changed.  Now that I was in a new country, I had to start from zero with a language that I couldn’t speak and a new culture.”

Here is Hechavarria’s speech (PDF).

HC Media live streamed commencement, allowing friends and relatives who couldn’t attend to watch the ceremony live.  If you would like a DVD of the ceremony, please contact HC media, 978 372-8070 or, and they will make a copy for you for a fee of $10.

Here’s a full list of 2019 graduates.  You can also view photos of commencement on the college’s Facebook page.

Next year’s commencement—the college’s 58th—will be held on Saturday, May 16, 2020 so mark your calendars now.  We will be updating this site with details closer to the day so keep checking in!

2019 Commencement Photo Gallery

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