May 13, 2019 – AURORA, Colo. – The Community College of Aurora awarded Jonathan Rutledge Ehrmann a posthumous degree at the CCA commencement ceremony held on May 11 at Magness Arena in the Ritchie Center at the University of Denver.
The honorary degree was presented to Ehrmann’s parents – his father, John, and mother, Karen – who walked to the stage and received his diploma.
The diploma awarded to Ehrmann was one of more than 350 issues to graduates during the ceremony and represents the largest class to participate in CCA’s history.
The graduates applauded the Ehrmann family as they took the stage.
Receiving the degree on Jonathan’s behalf meant a lot to the Ehrmann family, said Karen.
“We were wonderfully touched and honored on Jonathan’s behalf by this degree,” Karen said. “Everyone at the college has been really amazing.”
Ehrmann passed away on October 22, 2018 – a few weeks before he would have completed the diesel program and earned his AAS degree in diesel power mechanics.
Jonathan’s classmates in his diesel cohort met with his family and held a memorial for him in November 2018. Meeting his classmates and hearing the stories about Jonathan was very healing, his parents shared.
But CCA’s connection to the Ehrmann family didn’t stop there. In January, the family found out that CCA would award an honorary degree to Jonathan at the May 11 ceremony.
Jonathan started in the Diesel Power Mechanics program at CCA in January 2018 after working as a hair stylist for nearly eight years. He had grown tired of the hair styling industry and wanted to try something new – and when he started working on diesel engines, he found he loved it, Karen said.
“He loved being in the machines,” John said. “He relished figuring things out.”
“He was a rocket. He was kind of a renaissance man – his classmates told us he blew them away with his knowledge of everything about our world,” Karen said.
About the Community College of Aurora (CCA)
The Community College of Aurora (CCA) provides high-quality instruction and student support services to Aurora and Denver, Colorado. The college offers courses on two campuses, online and through its high school concurrent-enrollment program, helping students prepare for employment or transfer to a four-year institution.