DMACC Boone Campus Commencement Ceremony

Posted 4/27/2017

The 89th Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) Boone Campus Commencement will take place at 10 a.m., Fri., May 5, 2017 in the Boone Campus Gymnasium. More than 260 Boone Campus students will graduate this spring.  A reception will follow immediately after the commencement in the L.W. Courter Center.

DMACC Boone Campus student Robert Kitchen of Story City will welcome family and friends to the graduation ceremony. Kitchen is enrolled in DMACC’s Management Information Systems program and plans to transfer to Iowa State University.   He is a 2017 Coca Cola Bronze Scholar.  Kitchen is the DMACC Honors Student Board President, PTK Chapter Vice President of Communications and Phi Beta Lambda State Treasurer.

Iowa native and internationally renowned bass-baritone Dr. Simon Estes will deliver the commencement address. Estes became a Visiting Professor of Music at the DMACC Ankeny Campus beginning in the fall of 2016.

Dr. Estes has appeared at the world's major opera houses, at international festivals, and with 115 orchestras under 90 of the world’s greatest conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Erich Leinsdorf, Eugene Ormandy, James Levine, Zubin Mehta, Loren Maazel, Carlo Giulini, and Georg Solti. He has performed at 84 of the most famous opera houses in the world, including the Vienna State Opera, the Zurich Opera, La Scala in Italy, houses in Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona, Spain, and others, including several seasons at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.   

Dr. Estes has given performances for six U.S. Presidents, two Popes, a number of European royalties, at the opening of the Munich Olympic Games, and for world leaders, including the late Nelson Mandela. He has performed with Ray Charles, Barry Manilow, Johnny Cash, Whitney Houston and several other notable artists, including Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

Estes has given classes and lectures around the world, including in Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, and at Harvard University, Duke University, and Russian Music Society in Moscow and at the University of Iowa.

Dr.  Estes serves as a Visiting Professor at Iowa State University, and served as a faculty member at Julliard School of Music, Boston University for five years and Wartburg College for fourteen years. 

Growing up in Centerville, Dr. Estes first sang in his church choir at age eight. While attending the University of Iowa, he sang with the Old Gold Singers and earned a scholarship to the prestigious Julliard School of Music in New York City. Dr. Estes also possesses seven honorary doctorate degrees. 

Dr. Estes still performs all over the world, often appearing at benefits and fundraisers. As a Humanitarian, Educator and Philanthropist, he provides college scholarships for high school graduates through his Roots and Wings program; in which he regularly performs in all 99 Iowa counties, offering 185 scholarships to deserving high school seniors since 2010.  Dr. Estes has raised more than $200,000 for the Eliminate Malaria Campaign through the Simon Estes Foundation, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation.

Dr. Estes remains active in the international opera world.

Dr. Estes was honored at The Smithsonian Institute’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture opening last September in Washington D.C.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. Video of Dr. Estes will be part of an exhibit featuring three other African American opera singers.

DMACC Boone Campus Provost Drew Nelson will preside over the commencement. A nursing pinning ceremony will take place in the gymnasium following the commencement.

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