CCCC celebrates summer graduation
Teddy Byrd, chairman of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners, delivered the commencement address ... (more)
Gerzain Santana (right), of Sanford, received his Associate in Arts-University Transfer degree from ... (more)
Andrea Keily (left), of Cameron, Harnett County, received congratulatory flowers from her husband, ... (more)
Jeannette Reaves (left) , of Bear Creek, gets a big smile from her grandmother, Myrtle Rogers, of ... (more)
William Gaschler IV, of Sanford, (right) receives his Associate in Applied Science degree from Bobby ... (more)
SANFORD — Cheers, applause and jubilation filled the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center Friday morning as Central Carolina Community College’s graduating class of summer 2008 received their degrees, diplomas and/or certificates.
During the summer semester, students from Chatham, Harnett and Lee, as well as other counties, completed their studies. Eighty-nine earned associate degrees; 102, diplomas; and 84, certificates. About 150 took part in the graduation exercises and about 1,000 family members and friends were on hand to celebrate their achievements.
Teddy Byrd, chairman of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners and a Harnett County businessman, delivered the commencement address.
“Be the best you can be,” he told the graduating class. “That’s what makes this country great. Think of the positive force created when all of us are striving to be our best. I know you can change the world. God bless each of you and your families.”
Byrd, a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Logistics Corps, has served in both the active duty and reserve military over a period of 27 years. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq in 2003-2004.
He spoke of “the wonderful men and women serving in the armed forces today,” and asked those currently serving, or who have served, to stand. About 40 stood and the audience loudly applauded them.
Byrd spoke to the graduating class of several principles that guide his life, including: never make a deal unless it is good for both parties, live by the Golden Rule, and, quoting the Bible, don’t lose their souls in trying to gain the world.
Graduating student Emily Turner-Bolch, of Durham, gave the student response. She received an Associate in Applied Science in Veterinary Medical Technology — carrying a straight “A” (4.0) grade point average during her studies. In April, she received the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award, one of only 116 students in the system to be so honored.
“Today represents the culmination of our hard work and the achievement of our dreams,” she told her classmates. “I hope you spend each and every day doing something you are passionate about.”
During the exercises, students who earned the highest grade point average in their division were recognized; most earned straight A’s: Associate in Arts — Paul Forrest Glass-Steel; Associate in Science — Teresa Storm; Associate in Applied Science — Megan Rutledge Bunting, Eva Christianson, Wendy Coon, Carrie DuPont, Stacy Harvey, Jennifer McGuigan, Betsy Rappleye, and Emily Turner-Bolch; and Diploma — Perry Thompson.
Following the awards, the graduating students proudly crossed the stage, one-by-one receiving their hard-earned degrees, diplomas and certificates from Bobby Powell, chairman of the college’s board of trustees.
After the graduation program, Andrea Keily, of Cameron, was all smiles as her husband, Gary Keily III, who is serving in the U.S. Army, and other family surrounded her with hugs and flowers. Keily received her AAS in Medical Office Administration.
“I’m excited,” she said. “I have two little girls and I’m hoping that they feel that because mommy did it, they can do it too.”
Gerzain Santana, of Sanford, received his Associate in Arts-University Transfer.
“It feels great,” he said with a smile. “Now I’m going to UNC-Charlotte and study international business.”
“Great” was also Sanford resident Dorothy Combs Hunter’s word for achieving her Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration.
“My job moved as part of NAFTA and I was laid off in 2003,” she said. “This is a milestone, but I’m not finished yet — I’m going to continue and get my bachelor’s!”
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