May 11, 2021

Sedalia, MissouriMay 10, 2021 – State Fair Community College is pleased to recognize nursing professional Lana Kay Kelly as the 2021 Distinguished Alumni. She will be the keynote speaker for SFCC’s Health Sciences pinning and commencement at 1 p.m. May 14 in the Mathewson Exhibition Center on the Missouri State Fair Grounds. Lenny Freund who was selected as the 2020 Distinguished Alumni will be the speaker for the general commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. May 14 in the Exhibition Center. Freund was not able to speak at last year’s ceremony because it was canceled out of concern for the health and safety of all participants during the pandemic. Attendance at both ceremonies is limited to students and guests who have tickets. Masks and social distancing are required. 

The Health Science Pinning and Commencement will be streamed live on the SFCC YouTube Channel.

Kelly graduated from SFCC in 1980 with a Certificate in Practical Nursing and in 1983 with an Associate of Arts degree. She also was a student-athlete and played on SFCC’s volleyball team. Kelly earned a Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Central Missouri in 1986 and a Master’s in Business Administration from William Woods University.  

For more than 40 years, Kelly has provided exemplary nursing care to thousands of patients in the Sedalia and Pettis County area. She worked at Bothwell Regional Health Center where she became the Director of Women’s Health and Nursery. Kelly taught childbirth classes and provided encouragement and instruction to SFCC nursing students who were completing rotations in Labor and Delivery.  

Kelly also has served as Director of Nursing for the Sylvia G. Thompson Residence Center in Sedalia. Currently, she is the Care Coordinator for the Harry S. Truman Veteran’s Hospital Sedalia Clinic. 

A nurse who worked with Kelly for more than 30 years said, “She was always there to guide me as my boss and listen to me as a good friend. I have never worked with anyone who was more fair to every employee, no matter their status. Lana loved seeing new, young and mature nurses grow and succeed in their field. She was always their biggest supporter.” 

In addition to her successful career, Kelly is very involved in her church and community. She is active at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School volunteering at the church’s monthly soup kitchen and serving on the school’s Board of Education. As a talented cook, she has used her skills to help the Wear Red for Women fundraising luncheons.   

At the 1 p.m. pinning and commencement ceremony, a total of 171 Health Sciences students are expected to receive degrees or certificates in these programs: Associate Degree Nursing, 52; Practical Nursing, 44; Medical Assisting, 22; Dental Hygiene, 12; Diagnostic Medical Sonography, 12; and Radiologic Technology, 14; Medical Coding 12; Health Information Technology 9; and Occupational Therapy Assistant, 6

Freund, the 2020 Distinguished Alumni, owns Freund Family Foods, a traveling food concessions company based in Newnan, Georgia. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School and later earned an Associate of Arts degree in 1980 from SFCC. He transferred to the University of Central Missouri, and while there he accepted an offer to be a food service operations manager at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. That decision set the course for Freund to become a successful and respected entrepreneur with 40 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. 

This year approximately 659 graduates will receive 764 degrees. Breakdown of degrees (as of May 4) include 386 Associate of Arts degrees, 7 Associate of Fine Arts, 43 Associate of Arts in Teaching degrees, 11 Associate of Science degree, 186 Associate of Applied Science degrees, 99 Professional Certificates, and 32 Skills Certificates. 

The numbers include students who attend SFCC on the Sedalia campus and at locations in  

SFCC’s Adult Education and Literacy program will celebrate individuals who passed the High School Equivalency exam during 2020-2021. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. May 15 in the Exhibition Center.

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