Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reflections on Commencement 2013

CELEBRATE TOGETHER: Commencement 2013 was a very
special experience here at the College
I might be a little bit biased, but I think Commencement 2013 was the best one ever. And if you were there, you probably agree. I think I speak for many of us when I say that you could feel the love in Verizon Hall between graduates, their families and friends, and faculty and staff. I want to take a few moments to reflect on that evening, and offer hearty congratulations to all of our 2013 graduates.

The class of 2013 is an extremely special one. Included are our Parent University graduates, our inaugural Health Information Technology graduates, our inaugural Healthcare Administration graduateS, and many who have overcome odds to earn their college degree. Congratulations to all of you on achieving your goal, whether it was earning your associate degree, bachelor's degree, or certificate.

We have amazing students, many of whom balanced their careers, families, and community involvement to earn their degree, and we wish you continued success. Here are some photos we shot that night.

Peirce's Commencements are always all about the students, and this year's was no exception. Our featured students were fantastic. I really enjoyed Elsarra Elamin's speech, this year's student speaker -- she did a wonderful job. Kerri Kirlin sang the national anthem beautifully. And our keynote speaker, Lisa Nutter, really connected with our students and acknowledged all the hard work they've put in to get to this point.

On a personal note, I'm retiring at the end of this month, and this year's Commencement was my last at Peirce College. I've been a part of Peirce's Commencement since 1995, and have had the privilege of being the presiding officer for the past four ceremonies. I'm glad to say that my time here ended on a high note.

Being asked to be the Grand Marshal at this year's ceremony was very special for me. I was very honored to lead our 2013 graduates into Verizon Hall. And I was blown away when it was announced that the College was naming a graduate studies award after me: The Patricia A. Rucker Graduate Studies Award for Academic Excellence.

I'll always remember Peirce's 148th Commencement because of these events. I'm already looking forward to coming back to Peirce's 150th Commencement ceremony and giving the Patricia A. Rucker Graduate Studies Award for Academic Excellence to a member of the inaugural master's degree class.

My advice is simple for our 2013 graduates: It's your turn now. Take that degree you've worked so hard for and use it to achieve your career goals. And don't forget that we're here to help. We offer alumni support services through CDS and our Alumni Association, and our master's degree program in Organizational Leadership & Management is still accepting applications for fall 2013 if you're looking to continue your education. Either way, we're always here for our students, while they're here and after they graduate.

Congratulations from all of us at Peirce College! And thank you to everyone who made this Commencement ceremony a truly special one for all involved.