Rainy River Community College

Rainy River Community College's commencement ceremony will continue to look a little different this year.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 43 graduating students will celebrate during a ceremony in the RRCC Theater at 1 p.m. on May 14, while social distancing. There will be no guests allowed in person, but guests are invited to participate in the ceremony virtually. The link to watch the ceremony live will be available at rainyriver.edu. The video will also be recorded and available at rainyriver.edu.

“Students let us know, loud and clear, they would like to celebrate with their peers in person," RRCC Director of Operations, Brad Krasaway, said. "This group of students, who are graduating during a pandemic, have navigated obstacles not seen by other RRCC alumni. Even though the class of 2021 is smaller than previous classes, they walk across that stage with more resilience, perseverance, and hope than we have probably ever seen.”

Facts about the 2021 graduating class at RRCC includes:

  • 37 students receiving associate of arts degrees.
  • Two student will receive an associate of science in health science degree.
  • One student will receive an associate of science in exercise science degree.
  • One student will receive a health care pre-professional certificate.Two students have earned more than one credential.
  • Five of the 43 students graduated after fall semester.
  • Average age of the graduating class is 21.
  • 22 male and 21 female graduates.
  • 12 students will graduate from their respective high schools through the Post Secondary Enrollment Options, or PSEO program.

In addition, there are seven students graduating from Hibbing Community College with their associate of science degree in nursing and 8 students graduating from Itasca Community College with their practical nursing diploma. These students are part of the RRCC cohort and will be recognized during RRCC’s commencement ceremony.

RRCC Healthcare Program Director, Donita Ettestad, said, “While families will not be able to participate in the nursing student recognition, we are asking them to join us virtually to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of the future nurses. Their determination, commitment, and perseverance deserves to be commemorated as they move into their career as a nurse."

In addition to Krasaway, welcoming the 2021 graduating class will be Michael Raich, interim president of the Northeast Higher Education District, of which RRCC is a member.