On Friday, May 12, Lincoln Land Community College will celebrate its Class of 2023 with a commencement ceremony held at the Bank of Springfield Center in Springfield. The ceremony marks the culmination of years of hard work and dedication for the graduates, who are being recognized for their achievements and accomplishments.
Cassidy Kretschmer of Bartelso was chosen as this year's commencement speaker. Kretschmer, a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the women's basketball team, graduates with an associate in arts degree. Kretschmer plans to continue her education at Brigham Young University, where she will study family studies.
Luke Adams of Athens and Kortney Fisher of Taylorville will serve as student marshals for the ceremony. Adams, who served as Phi Theta Kappa treasurer and was a member of the LLCC Ag Club, earned an associate in arts degree and plans to transfer to Florida Gulf Coast University to further his education. Fisher, a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the All-Illinois Academic Team, graduated with an associate in applied science degree with a concentration in neurodiagnostic technology and is employed by CortiCare. She plans to pursue a career in healthcare administration.
The ceremony will also honor Brice R. Huddleston, retired Colonel of the U.S. Air Force, with the 2023 LLCC Honored Alumni Award. Huddleston, who earned an associate in applied science degree from LLCC and a bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois Springfield, had a distinguished career in the Air Force. He was selected for Air Force Navigator Training and served as an F-4 weapon systems officer, coordinating training and operational guidance and deploying to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia for F-16 combat missions. After his flying career ended in 2003 with over 2,000 fighter jet flying hours, Huddleston worked at the Pentagon, assisting in the deployment of Air Force assets to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later oversaw the National Guard Joint Operations Center, coordinating support in response to hurricanes, fires, and floods. Huddleston retired from the Air Force in 2008 and worked as a consultant until 2021.