SANFORD — With big smiles, members of Central Carolina Community College’s Summer Class of 2009 walked confidently across the stage at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center Aug. 6 to receive their hard-earned degrees, diplomas, and certificates from college President Bud Marchant.
“We came to Central Carolina Community College in search of change, hope and challenge,” student graduation speaker Bonnie Pope, of Harnett County, told her fellow graduates, “We worked so hard and we have been forever changed by our education.”
That change was applauded and cheered by family members and friends as 122 of the 211 summer graduates received their credentials at the commencement exercises. Class members earned a total of 290 credentials: 20 Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees, 77 Associate in Applied Science degrees, 90 diplomas, and 103 certificates, with some students earning more than one.
Jamie Tyson, Central Carolina C.C.’s 2009 Instructor of the Year, addressed the graduating class. She said that, with their graduation, they were taking a third turn in the direction of their life’s journey. The first turn was when they chose to come to the college and further their educations; the second turn was when they chose to put forth the effort to reach their goal.
“You are no longer the same person that started this journey,” she said. “Norman Vincent Peale said, ‘If you can change your thoughts, you can change the world. You are in the midst of proving his words. I hope you take from CCCC self-respect, a new appreciation of family and friends, and an appreciation for learning and education.”
Kim Wanovich, of Cumberland County, was also a student speaker. She received her college degree, an A.A.S. in Veterinary Medical Technology, 16 years after graduating from high school. With a husband on active duty, four school-age children, and having to undergo surgery while keeping up with classes and labs, Wanovich spoke of the obstacles that are part of any student’s achievement.
“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eye off the goal,” she said. “Remember the obstacles you overcame, acknowledge your success and those who helped you achieve it.”
During the commencement, Ken Hoyle, vice president of student services, announced those who achieved the highest grade point average in each of the divisions of the college. The students honored were Rhonda McCanless, Corrie Church, Holly Kidd, Bernadette Lajoie, Karen Pogmore, Alejandra Berry, Shelby Parrott, and Bonnie Pope.
The third student graduation speaker, Andrew Kudlak, of Cumberland County, urged the students to become fully involved and live up to the highest standards of their professions. Kudlak received his A.A.S. in Machining Technology-Tool, Die and Mold Making. He plans to continue his education at Central Carolina C.C. to earn a Mechanical Engineering Technology degree.
“I’m excited to end, and I’m excited to begin again,” he said with a smile. “There are great opportunities here.”