Illinois High School Diploma 2023 Graduate Cayan Moore poses for a photo with his parents, Eric and Crystal Stevens, at last year’s graduation ceremony. JAN DONA/ L&C Marketing & PR

GODFREY - Lewis and Clark Community College will celebrate the achievements of 83 graduates at its 46th Annual Illinois High School Diploma (formerly GED®) Graduation, Thursday, June 6, at the Hatheway Cultural Center’s Ann Whitney Olin Theatre.

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"The dedication, resilience, and achievements of our students fill us with immense pride,” said Director of Curriculum and Development Jeff Campbell. “Graduation marks the beginning of a new chapter filled with promise and potential. As the Lewis and Clark Community College Adult Education Class of 2023-2024 steps into the world, they carry with them not just their Illinois High School Diploma, but knowledge, skills, and experiences that will shape their future endeavors. Congratulations to these exceptional graduates, whose achievements illuminate the path forward.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Illinois Sen. Erica Harriss (56th District). Harriss is a proud native of the Metro East, having been born in Highland and graduated from Edwardsville High School.

She began serving as a state senator in her district, which encompasses portions of Madison and St. Clair counties, in 2023.

Prior to that, Harriss served on the Madison County Board for six years, representing the 26th District. During her time on the Board, she served as the Chairperson of the Personnel Committee and was also a member of the Finance, Government Operations, and Grants committees.

In addition to her current work in the Senate, Harriss is also an entrepreneur and small business owner. Prior to opening her business in 2014, she worked in the marketing/communications field. She earned her degree in Speech Communication/Public Relations from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1999.

In her free time, she volunteers in her community at various local charity organizations and is an active member and youth group leader at Metro Community Church.

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She and her husband, Jeff, reside in Glen Carbon and have three children.

The student speaker will be L&C Student Trustee Melissa McKaig, of Jerseyville.

She joined the Lewis and Clark Board of Trustees as the student representative in April 2023 and is working toward her associate degree in nursing, She plans to graduate in Fall 2024.

McKaig is an active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Godfrey and a co-leader of a 12-step Christian-based all-women study group. She also works with the Women’s Ministry of Westminster and the Missionary team at Westminster and participates in the nursing club at Lewis and Clark.

The ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m.. Graduates should arrive at the Hatheway Gallery at 5:30 p.m., where they will be fitted for caps and gowns. Each graduate will be given a tassel as a keepsake.

"I couldn't be more proud of our students or of our team members,” said Associate Dean of Adult Education Val Harris. “The Lewis and Clark adult education team is something special. To a person, they center their work around the needs of our students. This graduation ceremony is a fitting recognition of their work and of the work of our amazing students."

Those wishing to attend the ceremony are asked to RSVP by calling (618) 468-4141.

For more information on how to earn a State of Illinois High School Diploma, contact Adult Education Outreach Specialist Jill Dupy at (618) 468-4149.

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