Madison College will hold its Spring Commencement on Friday, May 17 at 5:30 at the Alliant Energy Center. A total of 1,800 students will be graduating at the ceremony with over 800 graduating students participating in the ceremonial walk.
Among this year’s graduates will be Gambian native Ousman Darboe, who will be speaking during the commencement ceremony. Darboe fled Gambia to get away from the opressive dictator Yahya Jammeh and came to America completely alone, without any immediate family. All he had with him were his dreams.
Darboe is a first-generation student and is planning to tell the crowd during commencement that this is the greatest day of their lives and that his time at Madison College has been an honor. For Darboe, the students and faculty of Madison College have been like a family and he has been a very active student while on campus.
Darboe joined the African Student Association, TRiO Student Support Services, participated on the Student Affairs Council and was a member of the Student Activities Board.
Darboe plans to say that while he was forced to flee his native country, he has become determined in his quest to run no longer, according to draft remarks obtained by Madison365. He will seek to put down roots in the United States and expresses the sentiment that America has, for him, been a place of opportunity in spite of the political divides the country faces at the moment.
Parking and Admissions are free for the graduation ceremony and the graduation can also be viewed by live stream here.