Ranta serves as EMCC commencement speaker

By BDN Staff

BANGOR — Eastern Maine Community College awarded degrees to 429 students during its 57th commencement Saturday, May 11 in Bangor at the Cross Insurance Center.

The commencement marked the first graduating year for students receiving their associate degree under the recent state program that covers tuition for two years. The college also awarded 123 certificates to students. 

Photos courtesy of EMCC
From left, Katahdin Javner, Chef Marilou “Lulu” Ranta, and Curtis Levesque.

Marilou Ranta, whose Monson restaurant The Quarry won a James Beard award last year, was the keynote speaker. Ranta earned her culinary arts degree at age 50 from EMCC before getting a job in Monson through the Libra Foundation that led to her starting the restaurant. She is the first graduate of a Maine culinary school to win a Beard award.

Katahdin Javner, a business management graduate who grew up in Senegal with his missionary parents, delivered a speech as 2024 EMCC’s student of the year. Javner completed seven years worth of classes in only four years and graduated with a 4.0 grade point average in his degree. 

Curtis Levesque, a welding student who died in January, was also recognized when his family and friends accepted his degree on his behalf.

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