HASTINGS, Neb. -- More than 70 students walked across the stage at the Central Community College (CCC) Winter Commencement Ceremony. 

For Merilyn Cruz, criminal justice graduate, the ceremony was a very special and proud moment. She is the first in her family to get a diploma.

“I got great opportunities to meet people, and to know what is criminal justice about," Cruz said. "Again, I got my degree now, it’s kind of a step for me to enter the workforce in criminal justice, so I'm really proud of myself.”

The keynote address was delivered by Beth Boesh, a CCC graduate and a current member of the CCC Foundation Board of Directors. 

The three campus presidents offered remarks and the American Legion Post 11 Color Guard presented the colors. 

Spectrum, the select choir from the Columbus Campus, performed the national anthem as well as another selection of songs. 

The ceremony was held Friday morning at the Dawson Building in Hastings, and had a reception that followed.