BCC graduates say farewell

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By Renee Sloan

Staff Writer

Brunswick Community College celebrated its spring graduation ceremony last Friday.

Three hundred and twenty-five graduates received a total of 368 degrees, diplomas and certificates, and 180 students participated in commencement exercises.

“It was definitely a spirited group of graduates,” said Susanne Adams, Brunswick Community College president.

“We are proud to say it was our largest group to participate in commencement exercises to date. Graduates, families, faculty and staff enjoyed a visit from the North Carolina Community College System Office and heard from Hilda Pinnix-Ragland, chair of the community college board in celebration of the North Carolina Community College System’s 50th anniversary year.”

During the commencement ceremony, Brunswick Community College officials also presented the following special awards to students and faculty: Distinguished Alumna, Laura Brogan; 2013 Academic Excellence Award, Bryson Benton; Dallas Herring Achievement Award, Sade Walker; Governor Robert W. Scott Leadership Award, Krystal Vonwald; President’s Award, Douglas Fritchey; Excellence in Teaching Award, June Davidson (full-time), Paul Mills and Cornelia Rogers (part-time); and N.C. Community College System Award, Michelle Sabaoun (BioNetwork Life Science Instructor Award).

Eugene Steadman Jr. delivered the commencement address. He is the graduate and professional studies business program chair at Averett University.

Joy Davis of Oak Island received a diploma in practical nursing and really enjoyed Steadman’s address.

“He talked about the seven doors, and I’ve had so many doors in my life and changed my mind so many times, I really could relate to that,” David said.

Davis admitted she has traveled down many different career paths including being an English teacher and a town clerk. After she passes her boards, she plans to work as an LPN and will likely continue her education.

“Of course, when you do the LPN program, you find out you want to do more, and now I’m going to do the RN program online at my own pace,” she said.

This year’s distinguished alumna award recipient, Laura Brogan, also spoke to the graduates about the importance of education and hard work.

Davis agreed about the importance of education and hoped all aspiring students will be able to further their education.

“Financial reasons stop a lot of people, but there are a lot of scholarships out there that they don’t have enough people to apply for,” she said. “If you really want to get through school, you can find a way.

“I guess at my age—at 54—what it’s done for me is help me realize that no matter your age, you can do anything if you set your mind to it.”