Lower Columbia College holds its 81st annual Commencement this evening at Ed Laulainen Stadium at Schroeder Field in Kelso, starting at 6:30 pm. LCC Alumnus Bill Stoller will be this year’s Commencement speaker; following his graduation, Stoller went into the business of employment, founding several companies that help provide temporary employees to businesses in the region. Stoller is the founder and CEO of Xenium, which is a human resources consulting and employment company based in Portland; he also is the President and founder of Express Employment, which has 24 offices in six states. Stoller went to LCC in 1970 and 1971, and was inducted into the LCC Athletics Hall of Fame earlier this year; he also owns and manages the Stoller Vineyards, located in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country in Dayton.
Around 400 students are expected to walk in this evening’s ceremony; 582 Associate degrees will be presented, including degrees that will go to 108 Running Start students, who are getting a college degree to go along with their high school diploma. 57 certificates will be presented, along with 96 GED’s or high school diplomas. Four scholastic achievement awards will be handed out; these students came out of a group of 15 students that had perfect 4.0 GPA’s; Chase Hunter from Kelso High School is getting an Academic Transfer Award, as he heads to the University of Washington to pursue studies in Electrical Engineering. Andrew Jaspers also receives an Academic Transfer Award, as he heads to Washington State to pursue studies in Mechanical Engineering. Steven Hogg spent 27 years in the Marines before coming to LCC, and he is now receiving a Professional-Technical Award, graduating from the Medical Assistant program. Sofie Shulda from the Mark Morris class of 2013 gets the other Professional-Technical Award, as she continues her Nursing studies. Following this evening’s ceremonies, the LCC Foundation is hosting a reception for graduates and their guests. Be aware that parking at Kelso High School could be a challenge, as about two thousand people are expected for this evening’s event.