WSCC graduates 216 on Friday evening

SCOTTVILLE — West Shore Community College honored 216 graduates on Friday evening by presenting diplomas and certificates during the 48th annual commencement ceremony at the college’s recreation arena.

WSCC Board of Trustees chair Bruce Smith congratulates a graduate as president Scott Ward looks on. On Friday evening 216 graduates received diplomas and certificates at commencement ceremonies at the college

WSCC Board of Trustees chair Bruce Smith congratulates a graduate as president Scott Ward looks on. On Friday evening 216 graduates received diplomas and certificates at commencement ceremonies at the college

Thom Hawley, WSCC executive director of college relations, greeted everyone to the ceremony and said the evening was designed to praise those who would be receiving diplomas and certificates. He also gave a breakdown on the class of 2018 for the overflow crowd that was in attendance.

“Tonight is all about the graduates and those who have supported these students,” said Hawley. “We believe students come first and tonight is no exception. This year’s graduates include one graduate who started in 1979. Our youngest is 17 years old and our oldest is 68 years old. The average age of our graduates is 28, and 16 of the graduates are earning more than one degree or certificate. One student is even earning two associate degrees and two certificates.”

WSCC president Scott Ward praised the efforts of the graduates.

“Congratulations to the WSCC class of 2018 and thank you for allowing us to serve you and be part of your journey,” he said. “We all know you could have not done it on your own as you needed the instruction from the faculty and support of your family and friends but in the end it was you who did it. You proved you could do it and continue to show excellence and learn.”

WSCC Board of Trustees chair Bruce Smith told the graduates they were taking away a special gift from WSCC.

Pic 3“What you have earned here at West Shore Community College is yours forever,” said Smith. “No one can ever take that away from you, but remember you are never too old to learn.”

WSCC Student Senate president Ana Figueroa, who is a DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) student, gave an emotional and heart felt speech about all of those who have helped her attain this dream. Figueroa reminded other DACA students of the simple phrase, “Yes, we can” as inspiration to all of them to get an education. She received a standing ovation at the conclusion of her speech from the large crowd.

This year the faculty address came from professor of nursing and allied health division Steven Deller. He told the students the best advice he could give them was to find what they had a passion for doing in life and then to pursue it.

James Barker, of Manistee, was honored this year as the recipient of the 2018 Alumni Pic 2Achievement Award. He is the president of Munson Helathcare Manistee Hospital and the first alumnus to ever serve on the college’s board of trustees. He also is a member of the alumni association and served on the college’s foundation board of directors.

Barker praised his education at WSCC for making him who he is today. He quoted his favorite part of the Alma Mater as to what the college means to him.

“West Shore, West Shore Alma Mater, We pledge faithfully, To hold your memory dear to heart, With love and loyalty,” said Barker.

Graduates were presented by WSCC dean of arts and sciences Dr. Brooke Portmann and dean of occupational programs Christy Christmas. Diplomas were presented by Pic 4Ward and Smith.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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