More than 300 members of the Central Illinois community attended the MCLP Class of 2017 graduation celebration on Saturday, April 9 in the Brown Ballroom, located in the Bone Student Center on Illinois State’s campus. The evening included a keynote address by Annette Martinez, the Vice President of Human Resources at State Farm Corporate in Bloomington. Martinez’s took participants took attendees through her personal journey from a rural town in Colorado to Bloomington, where she now serves as an influential executive at State Farm Corporate. She also encouraged audience members to be reflective professionals and members of their communities, and to “make a plan, make a move, and make a difference” in the lives of others.
The event also included two award presentations, with the MCLP 2016 Community Service Award going to Matt Burgess and the Alumni Award going to Class of 2013 graduate Mary Riddle. Burgess serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Home Sweet Home Ministries. Riddle is the Senior Vice President of Marcfirst in Normal. The class speaker for the new alums was Callie Cummings, who serves as the program coordinator for 4-H and Youth Development of McLean County.
Before newest alums walked across the commencement stage, they performed a surprise flash mob, dancing to Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me Right Now;” MC Hammer’s “You Can’t Touch This;” and “Dhoom Machale Dhoom” by Aditi Singh Sharma.
Photos from the evening below! View the complete album.