Tri-C to Honor Graduates at Spring Commencement

Nearly 3,100 Students in Line to Receive Degrees and Certificates

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) will celebrate the academic achievements of nearly 3,100 petitioning graduates during its Spring Commencement on Thursday, May 18.

The College has been asked to confer 3,099 associate degrees and certificates of completion at the graduation ceremony, making this the second-largest class in Tri-C history. The total reflects the College’s commitment to student success.

“Through their commitment and hard work, these graduates are poised to take on meaningful careers in our region and continue their education at many universities,” said Alex Johnson, president of Cuyahoga Community College. “Their bright futures reflect our community’s continued investment in affordable higher education.”

The College will also award Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees to Rick Chiricosta and Margaret W. Wong during the ceremony to recognize their commitment to Tri-C, its students and the community.

Chiricosta has served as an advocate for education through his work with Medical Mutual of Ohio, where he is chairman, president and CEO. He has bettered the lives of countless Greater Cleveland residents as chairperson of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation.

Wong is an award-winning immigration attorney and founder and managing partner of Margaret Wong & Associates. Her commitment to education includes more than two decades of service with the Tri-C Foundation, where she is a director.

The student speaker at commencement will be Doraja Lake of Willoughby, who transformed her life while earning an Associate of Arts degree at Tri-C. She said inner strength gained at the College “changed the script” of her life.

Lake intends to transfer to The Ohio State University in the fall to continue her studies and pursue a career in bariatric medicine. She is the first person in her family to earn a college degree.

Classmates selected Lake to serve as student speaker at the ceremony and share her story of perseverance. To read other graduate success stories from the College’s Class of 2017, visit

Tri-C’s Spring Commencement will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, located at 2000 Prospect Ave. in Cleveland.

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