"Today is a time of celebration and a time of looking forward."
Those were the words of Wake Tech Community College President Stephen Scott as he spoke to graduates at the spring 2013 commencement.
More than 1,400 students received degrees and diplomas; of those, about 800 took part in four separate ceremonies on the main campus. Graduates ranged in age from 16 to 67.
Graduation speakers included Student Government Association President Melissa Reeves, the mother of 10 adopted children and grandmother of nine. She told graduates, “This may be the end of our community college experience, but it’s the beginning of the rest of our lives.” Phi Beta Lambda Honor Society President Fiaunna Shivers said she could sum up her Wake Tech experience in two words: “life changing.”
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Student Ambassador Noah Boyd received a medal for his Coca-Cola Academic Team Gold Scholarship from the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Boyd was one of 50 Gold Scholars out of 1,800 applicants nationwide and will be featured in USA Today. He is transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill as part the C-STEP program. Boyd also revealed that he was the personality behind Wake Tech’s athletics mascot, Talon the Eagle.
Guest speaker Joe Bryan, chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, congratulated the graduates on behalf of the board. He told them that the education Wake Tech provides plays a vital role in helping to attract businesses to the county. With a Wake Tech degree, he said, “the possibilities are endless.”
Graduates earned degrees in a variety of programs, from computers and engineering to cosmetology and culinary arts. Many earned associate degrees and plan to transfer to four-year institutions to pursue advanced degrees. Graduates included 25 Wake Early College graduates who earned an associate’s degree along with their high school diplomas. Nineteen others earned some college credit.