Lincoln Land Community College will conduct commencement exercises on Friday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield.
Olatayo Ajenifuja of Springfield and Alex Portwood of Sheldon have been selected as this year’s commencement speakers. Ajenifuja is graduating with an Associate in Science in pre-clinical laboratory science with a 3.57 GPA. He is a mathematics and sciences departmental honors graduate and plans to study neuroscience and neurobiology at a four-year university. Portwood is an LLCC basketball athlete graduating with an Associate in Arts degree in business with a 4.0 GPA. He plans to transfer to a four-year university to major in business economics and continue playing basketball.
Regina Suszko of Springfield and Catherine Wittler of Williamsville are serving as marshals. Suszko is graduating with an Associate in Arts degree in philosophy with a 4.0 GPA. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year before pursuing a degree in sign language interpretation for the deaf. Suszko is vice president of the PTK Illinois Region Central District, public relations officer of LLCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, captain of LLCC’s Quiz Bowl team, treasurer of LLCC’s Honors Program Student Organization and ranks 12th in the nation as a quiz bowl player.
Wittler is graduating with an Associate in Arts degree in business administration with a 4.0 GPA. Following graduation, she plans to study marketing and environmental sustainability at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Wittler serves as president of LLCC’s Honors Program Student Organization, vice president of scholarship of LLCC’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter and vice president of LLCC’s Student Government Association. In addition, she works as a student recruiter at LLCC and participated in a biological field studies research trip to Belize in January 2017.
William “Bill” D. McCarty II, is being recognized with the 2017 Honored Alumni Award. McCarty received an Associate in Science degree in liberal arts from LLCC in May 1995. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, double majoring in finance and computer applications, from the University of Notre Dame and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Following college, McCarty opened a restaurant in Lincoln, ran a small vending business and spent three years as village trustee in Williamsville. He was elected as Williamsville mayor before the age of 30 and served as mayor for four years. After working for the State of Illinois Bureau of Property Management as the chief financial officer, he was appointed in May of 2011 to serve the City of Springfield as director of budget and management where he is responsible for overseeing accounting, budgeting, payroll, purchasing, facilities maintenance and fleet services. Two years ago McCarty started a technology company called GOV311. In his spare time, he develops 311 smartphone apps that help local governmental entities better engage their constituents. McCarty is active in the community serving as The Parent Place board president and as a volunteer for a number of other organizations.