Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 9, 2014

ACTC graduates fill PAC

ASHLAND — However dignified the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance,” the traditional musical opener for graduations, there is never enough pomp to prevent exuberant graduates from turning in their seats to wave at their families and friends.

That was the scene Friday at the Paramount Arts Center, as one after another, Ashland Community and Technical College graduates filed into the auditorium in their grey caps and gowns, only to break the solemnity of the march by seeking out familiar faces and exchanging smiles and waves.

There were graduates like Lucinda Schroeder, a 45-year-old mother of two daughters who themselves are college students. One of them was in the auditorium to watch her mother receive her associate’s degree in applied science.

It’s a degree Schroeder will take to Morehead State University, where she plans on earning her bachelor’s degree in social work. “It’s been a very exciting three years,” she said. “I’m the first in my family to go to school and graduate.”

Now a case aide for the Wayne County Department of Human Services, she hopes to move up to being one of the social workers she assists.

ACTC recognized a record 636 students at the ceremony; among them were August 2013, December 2013 and May 2014 graduates.The students were graduates during the college’s 75th anniversary year. “At the conclusion of the ceremony you will become an alumnus of a college that has lasted the test of time to become bigger, stronger, more valuable to graduates than the creators of the college could ever have envisioned,” said ACTC President Kay Adkins.

Tiffany Travis of Louisa, graduating with a diploma in culinary arts, said she is nervous to be “stepping into the big world,” although part of her next step is to work while continuing her culinary arts education. “It’s been a lonely drive every day from Louisa but it’s pretty awesome to graduate with some great people,” she said before the ceremony.

Paula Stepp, also from Louisa, said she was excited to be graduating and gratified that she could do it so close to her home. She plans pursue a nursing degree. “ACTC is a great school with a great faculty. I really enjoyed the whole experience,” she said.

A distinguished alumnus award was made to commencement speaker Dr. Henderson Dwayne McGinnis, and the Gussler Math/Science Endowed Chair award was made to mathematics and physics professor Ralfred Hall.

The Gussler award recognizes a faculty member who has helped students to succeed beyond their expectations.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

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