Garden City Community College will hold Commencement in Conestoga Arena at the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex, Friday, May 4, at 7:00 p.m. This will be the 98th College Class to graduate from Garden City Community College. Seating is on a first come/first serve basis. There will be seating available for physically limited guests. The GCCC 98th Commencement will be streamed live at GCCC TV on YouTube. The doors to Conestoga arena will be closed prior to the playing of the National Anthem, so early arrival is encouraged for guests. Overflow seating will be available in the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Auditorium, where commencement activities may be observed via video service.
Guest Speaker for the evening will be Dr. Blake Flanders who serves as President and CEO for the Kansas Board of Regents, which is the governing board of the state’s six universities and the statewide coordinating board for the state’s 32 public higher education institutions. Prior to his current role, Blake served as the Vice President for Workforce Development for KBOR and provided executive leadership for the Kansas Postsecondary Technical Education Authority. He completed an associate degree at Colby Community College and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction at Kansas State University. Blake and his wife Risa have three children and reside in Topeka, Kansas.
Distinguished Guest for the 98th Commencement will be Mr. Cecil O’Brate. Since 1948, O’Brate has been a farmer, rancher, banker, business manager, developer, oilman, entrepreneur and local philanthropist. He spent the early years back in Kansas farming and ranching. In 1965, he embarked on a new challenge and purchased Palmer Manufacturing and Tank Company. When he purchased the company, Palmer’s had 2 employees and manufactured tanks for the agriculture industry. When he sold the company in 2013, it had 215 employees and millions of dollars in annual sales. In 1984, O’Brate began investing in oil and gas ventures, which evolved into American Warrior, Inc., currently one of the largest independent oil and gas producers in the state of Kansas. Cecil and his wife Frances reside in Garden City, Kansas and are proud parents of four boys; Patrick, Michael, Steve, and Mark, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
A capacity level audience is expected for the Class of 2018 commencement ceremony. As a safety precaution, in case of inclement weather, attendees will directed to appropriate shelter. Once again, guests are encouraged to arrive early for seating, as doors close immediately prior to the National Anthem. Guests attending are encouraged to remain quiet during the ceremony out of respect for all speakers, graduates, and other attendees. No artificial noisemakers will be allowed during the proceedings, including horns, cowbells, etc. A family room will be available for your child/children who become restless.