May 17, 2023

Lakes Region Community College of Laconia, NH, was happy to host its 2023 Commencement last Saturday, May 13th, at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion in Gilford. Friends and family, along with the school’s community of faculty and staff, gathered to celebrate the student’s achievements and hopeful futures. 


The two-year College, which offers a variety of programs, was honored to present one hundred and sixteen degrees and certificates to LRCC’s deserving graduates. LRCC offers over forty degrees, certificates, and training programs. The most popular degrees in 2023 included automotive, fire science, and nursing. 


Interim President Patrick Cate addressed the graduates with a heartfelt speech on the topics of achievements and the growth of the College. “LRCC has been able to do big things for our community through the efforts of our faculty and staff and the dedication of our students. LRCC is taking on this transformation by looking at the future of higher education in our region and meeting those needs head-on. I still hear the moniker of the “tech on the hill.” That phrase does not accurately describe Lakes Region Community College anymore. As I know you will represent us as the newest alumni of LRCC, we are not the tech on the hill. We are the College on the Rise. Congratulations, and continue to make us proud”, said Cate.


LRCC was pleased to acknowledge Joel Austin-Shortt as this year’s Valedictorian. He received dual degrees in Advanced Manufacturing and Electro-Mechanical Technologies. He has learned from LRCC, applied it in his professional career at Freudenberg NOK, and excelled exponentially. Dual majoring is not a simple task, and Austin-Shortt has persevered and accomplished his goal despite being a single father and working more than full-time. 


“As the wheels of our bus come to a stop, we get off the bus and step on a new foundation that we’ve built here at LRCC. I want to thank our families, faculty, fellow students, and staff”, said Austin-Shortt during his address. 


LRCC awarded Emma Cole the Student of the Year Award for 2023. Cole received her Associate of Business degree and plans to open her own beauty shop. Her involvement in the Student Senate and overall support of LRCC make her stand out in the community.


Lakes Region Community College would like to thank the faculty, staff, parents, and the community for supporting this event. For more information about LRCC, visit