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CSM Students Take Center Stage as Keynote Speakers for 64th Spring Commencement May 12, 2023

May 8, 2023
student speakers

The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) will recognize 471 candidates for 389 degrees and 142 certificates during its 64rd Spring Commencement May 12 at the college’s La Plata Campus. CSM students Makayla Butler, Lauren Davis and Breanna Kekesi will provide the keynote addresses at their respective ceremonies.

In addition, 62 Charles County Public School seniors in the inaugural Early College class will participate in commencement and receive their General Studies Transfer certificate.

Of the students being celebrated, 217 are from Charles County, 132 are from St. Mary’s County, 105 are from Calvert County and 17 are from outside the region. Sixty-five percent of the graduates are women and 35% are men. Twenty-six percent of the students graduated with honors. The majority of degrees, or 20%, are in the field of arts and sciences, nursing (12.6%), business administration (10.3%), cybersecurity (7.2%) and social sciences, (6.2%). The top certificates obtained were in general studies transfer, graphic design, and advanced and basic accounting. The youngest graduate is 16 years old and the oldest graduate is 70 years young.

makayla-butler.jpegThe CSM School of Liberal Arts commencement will begin at 10 a.m. and Butler, of Charles County, will address her class. When Butler, right, graduated from high school in 2020, she went straight into the workforce in order to save money for college. After working at various retail jobs, she found herself uninspired and turned to CSM to explore deeper connections and possibilities for herself. She said she took her first sociology class and her “mind was blown.” She knew right away she wanted to work in the field of higher education in order to make it more accessible to our community’s most vulnerable populations. Her first CSM internship turned into her current, full-time job as a CSM Advising, Career, and Transfer Services administrative assistant. She will be graduating with her Associate of Arts degree in Social Sciences and Arts and Sciences.

lauren-davis.jpgThe CSM School of Professional and Technical Studies commencement will begin at 1 p.m. and Davis, of St. Mary’s County, will address her class. Davis, left, started at CSM in 2009 taking continuing education classes a few years after she graduated from high school in 2006. She started her family and worked various jobs, returning to CSM as an adult, full-time student in 2021 during the pandemic. In the last two years, she earned her degree with three children at home, including a toddler – while working full time. While at CSM, she was inducted into Kappa Beta Delta Honor Society and became the chapter president. Davis will be graduating with a degree in Business Management AAS.  

breanna-kekesi-crop.jpegCSM’s School of Science and Health commencement will be held at 4 p.m. and Kekesi, of Calvert County will address her class. While working toward her degree as a full-time student at CSM, she was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, made the Dean’s List, earned a scholarship, was elected as the Student Government Association Secretary at the Prince Frederick Campus where she also got a job as a CSM student assistant. Kekesi, right, credits CSM for giving her an affordable education, and shares that she feels lucky to have gained a community of forever friends. Kekesi will graduate with her degree in Pre-Professional Health with a Nursing concentration.

CSM Spring Commencement Schedule

CSM’s Spring Commencement activities will take place at the Physical Education Center (PE Building) at the La Plata Campus. CSM holds three commencement ceremonies on the same day to align with the college’s schools. On May 12, the schedule of ceremonies will be:

  1. School of Liberal Arts at 10 a.m.
  2. School of Professional and Technical Studies 1 p.m.
  3. School of Science and Health at 4 p.m.

Tickets are not required to attend each ceremony. Guests are strongly encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins. Doors will close when the procession begins, and guests arriving after the doors close may view the ceremony via livestream at www.csmd.edu/graduation. A video of each commencement will also be available for viewing on the college’s YouTube channel -- https://www.youtube.com/@CSMDTube/playlists -- following the events.

The safety of CSM students, guests and employees is of utmost importance. CSM will conduct bag checks at commencement, and all individuals may be subject to a bag check before entry. CSM Public Safety officials encourage guests to leave large secondary bags, diaper bags and backpacks in their vehicles or at home as these will be subject to the bag check process at the door.

Photos from graduation will be available at no cost at https://csmphoto.zenfolio.com/23maygrad.

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