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Student Responder: It’s the “I’ll try again” resiliency that epitomizes current class of graduates

Gateway Commencement Speaker

In college, and in life, there are many “I’ll try again tomorrow” moments.

It’s those moments when the work seems too much or the road too long but that, in the end, you move forward and try again. And, it’s in these moments that you reach your goal and succeed.

That was the message Student Responder Megan Bahr gave to Gateway Technical College graduates at their commencement ceremony held Tuesday night. Bahr, a Professional Communications graduate, told her classmates she was proud of them for pushing through those “try again” moments to graduate.

“Earning a college degree is already incredibly hard enough, but you completed a good majority of your degree during a pandemic, and all of the thousands of attached issues that came with it,” said Bahr. “If someone hasn’t told you they’re proud of you, I will do it right now, and again and again after the ceremony if you like.

“I am proud of you. Every single one of you.”

Bahr made her comments at the first of two ceremonies held this week for Gateway Technical College graduates. Tuesday night’s ceremony honored graduates from the School of Business and Transportation as well as the School of Manufacturing, Engineering and Information Technology. Wednesday night’s ceremony will honor graduates from the School of Health as well as the School of Protective and Human Services.

The two ceremonies will recognize 1,252 prospective candidates for graduation from the Summer 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022 and Summer 2022 semesters. A combined 353 students will participate in the two ceremonies.

Keynote speaker Michelle Gerdes, a Gateway alumni who currently serves as a senior service manager for We Energies, encouraged students to develop good habits now, habits that will help them to reach their goals and succeed.

“Class of 2022, I offer you a challenge,” said Gerdes. “This week, sometime when you have a quiet moment, reflect on one habit you would like to change, just one habit you want to focus on changing.

“Make it a part of every day, until the new habit you want is comfortable and automatic.”

Other commencement highlights included the presentation of the 2022 Gateway Technical College Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award to Jesús Anaya, who earned an Automotive Servicing diploma in 1980. Anaya has owned and operated Anaya’s Auto Repair Inc. in Kenosha for more than 40 years.

To see photos and a video of the commencement ceremony, go to: